Wednesday, August 31, 2005

the continued evacuation of new orleans

I'm watching CNN this morning, and there is some good news about evacuating refugees from New Orleans.

The 25,000 people who are currently at the Superdome will be moved by 500 busses to the Houston Astrodome since the Astrodome has things like electricity, food, water, bathrooms, air conditioning, cell phone reception. All the staples of life. I reassured Lair that there will probably won't be any Palestinians. Lots of Catholics, the occasional Methodist, maybe a few Vodun practioners (Voodoo), but I doubt any Palestinians. I don't think any vampires will be showing up, either, since their hiding places are under water, and it's nice and sunny. Poof. No more vampire problem in New Orleans.

The New Orleans International Airport has 2 runways open, for humanitarian relief only. There will be a large MASH unit put up there also, to help those in need of medical attention.

Also, the Navy deployed 4 ships out of Norfolk to the Gulf for humanitarian aid, one of which is a floating hospital, and all can dock as close to the places needed as possible. They have heliocopter landing pads on at least one ship, from what I saw on CNN, and, fittingly, one of the ships is the USS Shreveport.

To help out, go to the Red Cross Website for information on how to donate to help the people in the disaster area.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

thank you, everyone

Thanks for the well wishes for the kitties and everyone else who lives in the Oubliette. We are 300 miles (or 482 km, whichever you prefer) from the coast here in Huntsville, AL, so what we had to endure was Tropical Storm Katrina, not Hurricane Katrina. We didn't even loose power for more than a minute at a time, unlike the other half of the county.
Also, for those who have been concerned with my personal health, my Remicade infusion went well on Thursday, and my joints are feeling oh, so much better. I'm pretty exhausted, but I was also 8 weeks overdue for an infusion, and I'm supposed to get the infusions every 8 weeks. You do the math. My infusions always leave me feeling exhausted, and/or kinda crappy for 24-48 hours afterwards. This time it's taking a little longer for the exhaustion to wear off, but the joint pain had gone away within 36 hours of the infusion. Ah, relief.

The vertigo spells are less frequent since I started on Neurontin, a drug which I have been on before for migraines, which is primairly for seizures. My balance is still not the best in the world - I think I've become over-confident about moving around inside the house. In the house I have walls, furniture, etc. to grab if I start to loose my balance. So, I've fallen a few times, mostly harmless, but the one that scares me the most is the near miss I had with loosing my balance at the top of the stairs to the basement. There's no door since half of the basement is completely finished, and is a rec room/guest room. Head first down the stairs would have been very bad. Outside the house I'm more careful, and use a cane.

I still have short-term memory problems, ringing in my ears almost constantly, and a loss of coordination, especially fine dexterity. Also, the heat and/or humidity slays me, so I don't go out much in the day time, and have become mostly nocturnal. Horaay for DVRs! I can watch my favorite shows whenever I want.

An unforseen side effect of raising the dosages of some of my medications (like the ones that keep me sane) is that they supress my appetite. I simply don't really feel like eating. Which can cause some problems. So, I've been drinking Boost High Protein supplement shakes in lieu of a meal. 4 shakes is enough to sustain a person, at the 1000 calorie level. More than enough protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, etc. Boost is simply a more palatable version of what goes into a feeding tube. Yep, it was originally developed to be total liquid nutrition, and still is, with a whole lot better taste. The chocolate is downright yummy.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has expressed their concern, both over the past couple of days, and the past few months. If you want to help out while I'm out of work, there is an Click-to-Give box on the right side of this site. That's the closest thing to an ad you will ever see on my site. Without your support, and just someone to chat with, I don't think I would have taken everything as well as I have. Thanks again.


no pics tonight

Once I was able to fall asleep, I slept through the rest of the day. I pretty much just woke up. Hopefully I can get out tomorrow and survey some of the local damage.

Ok, fine, you can have a picture.

I'm just going to go back to sleep now that the worst is over, but I'm not leaving my towel.

Happy now?

time for a break

It's daylight, and the winds have died down considerably from what they were about 6 to 7 hours ago. Preliminary survey of my property shows a few small limbs in the yard, the flower trellis blown over (again), some of the tomato plants blown over, a few limbs snapped in the pear trees along with a lot of pears blown out of the trees (are wind blown pears covered under homeowner's or comprehensive car insurance?) and lots of leaves and general crap on the ground.

So, I leave you now and end the live blogging, to get some sleep. I should brave the weather later to get some pics of the neighborhood.

katrina - the worst is over

The winds are calming down, and the rain bands are less intense now. I think the worst of it was 1 - 3 am, when the winds where howling the worst and the rain was blowing sideways. Shortly after 1 is when I felt the front (east) side of the house bow almost from the wind gust. And we live in a brick house. We made it, no long term power loss, just annoying flickers every so often. And the cats now?

Why are you flashing that thing in my face. Time for sleep.

MMMM, chair back....I can be nice and droopy on it, if someone cuts it out with the flashy thing.

The cats are ready for a nap.

old habits die hard

I had been watching the local CBS outlet, because the local meterologist is one of the best in the area, even if he is a little over protective of his new home, and has issued storm and tornado warnings on his own, much to the ire of the local EMA, until we had our own local National Weather Service back in operation, and Birmingham wasn't having to cover the entire northern 2/3 of the state.

So, CBS news is starting to bore me, and Dan Satterfield hasn't had to cut in for a while, so I was about to switch to ABC, to hear the voice of Peter Jennings, so calm with it's smooth tone, only to realize I would never hear that voice again on a live broadcast. I think Peter would have loved to cover this event.

the cat's react

I don't have any pics, but now that the worst is on us, with the winds just below genuine Tropical Storm force, the cats have started acting a little more squirrelly (is that even a word?), running around the house, playing chase-you-chase-me, etc.

I guess I'm officially liveblogging this until I go to sleep or we loose power. If we loose power and I'm awake, I'll make one more post letting all know that we've lost power, because I don't know how long backups and batteries will keep me online.


We just experienceda wind gust that I could feel shake the east wall of the house (our house is a ranch-style house, oriented N-S), and the front of the house faces east. Our house is frame construction with brick sheathing. It was a shock to feel the entire living room wall shake. We do have storm windows, so if we loose one pane of glass, we still have a second pane, with screens in-between. After the second pane of glass, we have large pieces of plywood (1/2 sheets) in the basement. Some of it may be primed and ready to go as for painting, but I'll get over it.

I'll keep you all posted on how things are. Katrina's center still is 100+ miles away still.

and an update on the kitties

They are just oh, so concerned.

Terribly concerned. Nevermind the Tropical Storm force winds outside, and the sporadic power outages. They could give a shit.

Monday, August 29, 2005

still holding out in huntsville

Things have really started to pick up here, now. North Alabama is currently under an Inland Tropical Storm Warning, a Tornado Watch, and a Flood Watch. Whee! Right now we are experiencng sporadic power outages, which will not stop the blogging, since the laptop is running off the wall outlet right now, so the battery is fully charged. The cable modem and router/wi-fi access point are on a UPS, so I can keep blogging until all the batteries are down. Hell, we'll keep going until the tornado is actually on our street. Our radars tell us within a 100 yards where the tornado is, so even with power out, we will keep going until the tornado is knocking on our back door. Mwa-ha-ha!

Did I ever mention that Huntsville reigns supreme of the geeks in the Southeast? Challenged only by the geeks of California, who look down upon us because "How can anyone from Alabama (imagine snide voice) know anything about computers?" Well, we do, and the Tennessee Valley in Alabama is the "Silicon Valley of the South". Take that, California.

help from houston

According to what I just heard reported on The Weather Channel, anyone with a Louisiana license place can park for free anywhere in Houston today. The City is doing what it can help the refugees from Louisiana. Horray for Houston!


North Alabama is now under an Inland Tropical Storm Warning. Yippee! Just a few counties to the south and west of where I am, the National Weather Service has issued Inland Hurricane Warnings. C'mon, baby, let me fly my hurricane flag!

introducing the oubliette's alcove

Since I recently came out of my broom closet, I decided to create a second blog, a little niché I carved out of one side of the Oubliette, The Oubliette's Alcove. I'm still decorating, and posting will be sporadic at best. The only rule is that no one be hatful on my site. You may disagree, so long as you do so politely and respectfully.

If people get hateful, I WILL turn off anonymous commenting. If someone is determined to be a hateful commenter, then that person will, once banned, have to go through the process of getting another email address, re-signing on as a commenter, etc. Hopefully that will be more of a pain in the ass than harassing me. :)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

the tropical storm flag flies again

For the second time this season, I've hoisted the Tropical Storm flag over Huntsville. Later on Monday, we may have to switch to the Hurricane Flag for Huntsville, depending on how long it keeps it's strength as it moves inland.


If any bloggers closer to the coast want to borrow my TS or Hurricane icons, you need to have access to Flickr. Here are the links to the pages for each

Tropical Storm
Hurricane Flags - Small
Hurricane Flags

You will have to have a Flickr account (it's free, and you don't have to give your real name) to get access to the smaller sized images, instead of just looking at the page. I have a Creative Commons License on these images, which basically says attribute the image to me, you can change it, and cannot use it for commercial use. Simple enough? Yes, I gave up my copyright, so others may use these images. Oh, and please let me know which site you've used them on. I'd like to see my own work elsewhere. :) Thanks.


Katrina just made it up to 175 MPH. The Gulf Coast Coast is royally screwed. It may even be a Category 1 Hurricane by the time it make it's way up to the Huntsville area. We don't get many hurricanes up here in North Alabama. So, what do the cat's of the Oubliette think?

They decide it's time for a nap.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

hurricane katrina

New Orleans is soooo fucked.

Katrina is forecast by the NHC to make landfall as a Category 4, possibly even a Category 5 storm. New Orleans is below sea level for the most part, if it rains hard for too long, they are royally screwed.

Why am I so concerned about Katrina? My best friend, Eunomia, or the Voodoo Queen, is from right where the hurricane is supposed to make landfall. Her family would be so screwed if they rode it out. She trying to convince them to drive up here, NOW, and stay up here, where at worst we'll have to deal with Tropical Storm Katrina. If there's not enough room at her house, we have a basement with no tenants right now, and lots of couches. Between the two of us, we can put her family up here, if they will come up.

Everyone, please pray to your chosen deity that the loss of life will be minimal. Material things can be replaced. A human life cannot.

Friday, August 26, 2005

some good news

Yesterday, Thursday, I had my first Remicade infusion in 16 weeks, which is 8 weeks overdue. Now that the joint pain from the AS will be under control in a few days, so we can get back to the business of figuring out what the real neurological problem is. Yeah, I'll be feeling like crap (like having the flu) for about the next 24-36 hours, which is normal, and I'll probably be sleeping off and on most of this period. I'll stay logged on, so go ahead and IM me if you want, if I don't respond, I'm either away from my comfy spot for some necessary beverage retrevial or other mission, or asleep. Feel free to send messages, I have nothing better to do.

For more info on my Remicade infusions, this post is photos of the actual infusion, and this one is a play by play of the infusion process with no photos.

very early morning catblogging

The kitties need some help.

Serious help. They're spending way too much time watching the kitty fountain bubble.

Waaaaay too much time.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

what is the cure?

Well, since I disallowed my husband from playing, I had only 1 player. So I will announce the results.

The DVD is - The Phantom of the Opera

Congratulations to my sister, Eirene, for guessing correctly, and being the only player. As your prize, I won't tell any embarassing childhood stories here. You see, my beloved sister and cousins, the tales I could tell here...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

the cure for insomnia

I have finally discovered a cure for insomnia, that is pleasant. All it requires is for you to have a DVD player that, if allowed to run completely to the end, it will re-start the movie. What was the DVD? Hmm...should I tell you or give you a day to try to figure it out?

I'll make it a contest, and members of the Oubliette household are excluded from this contest. You will get approximately 24 hours to guess what DVD it was that lulled me to sleep after being awake for 18 hours without any caffine assistance, a massive insomnia attaack. After about 24 hours, I'll announce the name of the winner, or if no one guesses correctly, I'll announce title of the DVD.

So, guess away, what DVD, when played in a continuous loop, would cure my insomnia?

a cave kitty sighting

Maleficent, the cave kitty photographed in her natural habitat.

Has Eep gone away yet?

Update 22:00 - I was informed that this particular specimen is a well fed "slinky kitty" variation of the cave kitty, as opposed to the larger, fluffy "grumpus" variety.

musings on theoretical astrophysics

First, to be honest I know just enough about Theoretical Astrophysics to sound like a genuine nerd, which I guess I am. Yes, most of what I know comes from Science Fiction, but I'll get to that in a moment. I have read some genuine scientific papers, and understood them. I have a theory. I call it The Domestic Black Hole with Corresponding White Hole Theorem. It goes like this. Theoretical Astrophysicists (at the time I read the paper, about 15 years ago) believe there are Micro-Black Holes floating around. They are so small the only thing the can affect are atoms, so when they encounter a large mass, such as a planet, a cat, or whatever, they suck in a few atoms and continue to drift on. They are common, and harmless.

My Domestic Black Hole with Corresponding White Hole Theorem is based on the following colloraries.
1. There are slightly larger versions of the micro black holes located within every domicile, and the corresponding white hole within the same domicile. The matter that went through the black hole in emerges inside the same domicile. Simply put, there are a pair of links through time and space in every home, and that they drift about.
2. The black hole is large enough to pull in things the size of car keys, socks, the cat, and then ejects them someplace else in the house.
3. The black hole and corresponding white hole are, while irritating, harmless to all forms of matter and energy.

Now I said I would get to the Science Fiction part. I'll admit my 3 favorite TV shows of all time are all scifi. My all time favorite is Farscape, followed by Stargate SG-1, and then Stargate Atlantis. Yes, all 3 are on the SciFi Channel, and here's SciFi's Farscape website. CSI comes in for a close fourth, possibly even a tie.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

mission accomplished

The fact that I was overly caffinated did actually serve a purpose. I needed to be up until 9am so I could call my neurologist and have his office fax, take an elevator 3 floors up, whatever, his prelminary report of his findings on my neuro crap to my rheumatologist (arthritis specialist). You read right, fax 3 floors up. Anyway, my rheumatologist, Dr Jesus H (University of Seville, Spain) needs the preliminary info so that he can decide to continue my Remicade treatments (which has a very low risk of causing neurological damage similar to MS), or to find an alternative alternative treatment.

Mission completed. Phone calls made. NyQuil taken to combat the summer cold and put me out cold for about 6 hours. Expect no more posts until after 8pm CTD. Nitey Night.

caffiene, caffiene, caffiene, whee!

I really have lost my tolerance for caffiene. Just 1 cup of coffee after dinner at the Macaroni Grill, and two Pepsi Limes, and I am currently wired for sound. It's becoming close to the time I usually go to bed for my sleep period. (In case you missed it, I've become nocturnal) No way that's gonna happen now. I have a feeling I'm going to be watching The Phantom of the Opera, and the Sandman is going to creep up on me, and whack me in the head with a bag of sand, and I'll be sitting with a half composed post, dead asleep, hands in perfect resting position.

This has been witnessed by both my husband and his brother, who at one point was wondering how he was going to extricate the laptop from my hands without waking me up. He didn't have to, I woke up just enough to realize I had the computer still on my lap, set it aside, and fell right back to sleep.

Oh, in the event you want to know how much of your preferred caffinated beverage you would have to drink, based on body weight, head on over here - Death By Caffiene. I would have to drink more than 300 cans of Pepsi to be lethal. Having 300 cans of Pepsi fall on my would also be lethal. Have fun and watch for falling Pepsi cans.

is it getting a little chilly here?

This one is for you, Lair.

I do believe Hell has just frozen over.

5 cats, 1 shot, 0 bloodshed, and no restraints on anyone. And no, this did not last long at all.

Clockwise, from the furry lump on the floor: The Wild Eep, Noah, McCullough, Maleficent and Mac. Maleficent and Mac are my brother-in-law's, who is currently residing with me and hubby (his brother). The bloodshed between the cats is slowly abating, although sometimes Eep has to go to her room.

Just to prove the scene lasted longer than the nanosecond it takes to take one shot.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

been wondering what's causing the huricanes recently?

Well, y'all (especially you who live on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts), you should be watching the Discovery Science Channel a little more often. But since I'm nice, I'll tell you why. Off the coast of Africa, just north of the Equator and near the Azores Islands, the Atlantic Ocean's temperature fluctuates. The fluctuation is only 1°C (about 33°) is not as far as meterology goes, but when the Atlantic Ocean increases by 1°C, the number of hurricanes increases dramatically. In the 50's and 60' there was the increase in Atlantic Ocean temperature, and the corresponding increase in hurricanes. During the 70's, 80's and early 90's, the water temperatures returned to normal. These cycles last 20-25 years.

Now, great for us, starting in about 1995 the water started warming up again. So, I now were are now 10 years into a 20-25 year cycle. So, get used to it folks, we have 10-15 years to go. Hope you like wind and rain.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

aquarium update

I have a new pic of one of my White Cloud Mountain Minnow from just a few days ago. I will remind you that they are tiny and iridescent blue. If you can't find it, click on the picture and it will take you to the Flickr page, where I have a note on the picture showing where the minnow is.

Hint, the fry is on the piece of slate, eating algae.

Alas, I do not think any of the fry have survived since Tuesday, when I purchased two more Pygmy Cory Cats and two Croaking Gourami, who, despite the best efforts of the adults, I think have eaten all of the fry, who didn't have to hide to survive. The adult Minnows are ready to spawn again, and I think this batch of fry will have a better survival instinct, or at least listen to that instinct and hide. The first hatching learned they didn't have to hide, so they were doomed when the Gourami were introduced. I'm hoping the next batch will do better.

Friday, August 19, 2005

friday catblogging

It's been a while since Eep was featured here, on Friday or any other day of the week. So, for your viewing pleasure is The Wild Eep, her actual full name, on record with the vet and county animal licensing.

Eep has stolen Maleficent's normal spot on the back of the couch, and Maleficent knows better than to challenge her. She looks so sweet and harmless when she's asleep, but trust me she is a grumpus and has sharp claws that I have a bitch of a time trying to trim regulary.

thoughts and musings

As you may have noticed, I have come out of the "broom closet" so to speak, and I am no longer hiding the fact that I am a Wiccan. This will occasionally pop up in a post, but this is not going to suddenly change into a Pagan Blog. There are plenty of religious bloggers who don't hide what their faith is, but it doesn't make up their entire blog. That's how this blog will be, including the occasional Wiccan/witch/pagan joke. I'm completely open to people of other faiths, my only request is that you don't try to convert me, because I will not try to convert you. I will answer questions, emailed or left in a comment, explain any points of faith, but I believe everyone should have the right to choose their own path.

Now, on a slightly different note, I have always been fascinated by the cannonized Saints. I think part of this is from having to identify saints by their clothing or items in Art History class, and part is I was raised as a Quaker, so I had no exposure to Saints cannonized by the Catholic or Byzantine Churches.

So, while doing some semi-random browsing through a saint index, I found out who my Patron Saint is. Michael the Archangel, patron saint of EMTs, the State of Alabama, artists, and sick people. Just because I'm Wiccan doesn't mean I don't respect and believe in some aspects of other faiths. I guess I need to get a St. Michael the Archangel medal the next time I visit the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

thoughts on being nocturnal

Yes, it's true I've pretty much become nocturnal, which has led to some interesting adjustments. I tend to wake in the late afternoon, and go to bed around sunrise, with a nap in there somewhere. I've noticed that my taste in food hasn't really changed. When I woke up, "breakfast" was beef stew. I still want savory foods in the evening, early night. As it becomes early morning, and I eat my "dinner", that's when I want a breakfast type food, and yes, it's still Frosted Flakes. "Lunch is a toss-up, and I may or may not actually eat a full meal. I generally just snack on some healthy foods, and drink lots of liquids.

Unless I have a medical appointment, I generally sleep through most of the day, especially since it has been so hot that I can't stay outside for more than about 15 minutes. That's just sitting doing nothing, not doing anything. If I have to do anything physical then the time I can stand is a lot less. So, the best thing is to simply sleep during the 90°+ heat. It's working right now, since I don't really have anything that can't be done at night rather during the day.

news at last

I had a CAT scan of my sinuses this afternoon, so Dr. F, my general practioner, could see if there is anything causing my sinus infections.

I stopped by my Neurologist's office, since Luke who was playing my driver, and I were in the area. The Nurse Practioner at the office had to look up my results: they hadn't been sent over to the office yet. She looked each print-out, and was thinking out loud/telling me the results as she read each one. Every test was normal, the spinal tap, the evoked nerve potential tests, everything. So now we regroup and try to figure out what is wrong with me. So, it's mixed news, it's good that the tests were negative, but now it's time to try to find another culprit.

When I have more news, I'll let y'all know.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

joy of joys

School prayer and Alabama's ban of organized public school prayer is back in the news, thanks to Supreme Court Nominee John Roberts. Great, just what we all needed. Previously, I would have start ranting about how religion is personal, and needs to be kept apart from the State, including public schools. I've never had a problem with an individual student praying (I think there is more silent praying before an exam than the government realizes). What I have a problem with a single religion or denomination being the unofficial school's religion.

I've changed my mind. Let's have mandatory school prayer at the beginning of each day. The catch, each day the prayer is from a different religion. I think there are probably over 180 religions in the world, so no religion would get more than one day. (I use the 180 day figure, because that is what Indiana law was when I went to school, many years ago.) Each student would receive a handout of the prayer of the day, or the prayers for that week. I'm volunteering the first prayer for a school system.

Great Mother of us all, with your many names, Gaia, Isis, Artemis, Brigid, Bast, Diana, Morrigan, Lilith, we greet you this morning and ask for your blessing.
Great Father of us all, with your many names, Zeus, Osiris, Cerridwen, Odin, Shiva, Apollo, Jovah, we greet you this morning and ask you for your blessing.
For you are the Divine Mother and Father of us all, and we are all your children, so we ask that you fill our hearts with love for our sisters and brothers.
Where there is fear, replace it with understanding.
Where there is hate, replace it with compassion.
Where there is despair, replace it with hope.
For all of your gifts, we offer our deepest thanks.
In the name of the Goddess and the God,
Blessed Be!

There you go, school prayer issue taken care of.

the aquarium has some new residents

Today Tom and I got out for a little while this afternoon, which I kinda regretted since it was 90°+ and the humidity was close to 100%, I swear, it had to be. At least it felt like it. We went to The Aquarium Shop, which unfortunately doesn't have a website. The link is to the Google phone book result. If you are in the Huntsville area, I highly recommend this shop, they have an anstounding selection of both fresh and saltwater fish. They also seem to be healthier than fish purchased at national chains, even PetSmart, which I think is great for a national chain.

Back to the new residents. I purchased the only 2 pygmy cory catfish, Corydoras pygmaeus, they had in the entire store, so my school is up to 3. They are swiming together in a loose school, wagging their little tails, and I swear they look genuinely happy. I also purchased two croaking gourami (pictures to come). One started toward the Mountain Minnow fry, and all 6 adult White Cloud Minnows came to the defense of the single fry, which escaped. I don't know if this batch of fry will actually survive, since until today they never had to hide from any predators. That will not be a great loss, since the male Minnows are displaying, showing off for the females, who are becoming very gravid with eggs. I knew that I could never have all offspring of the Minnows grow to adulthood, since they would quickly crowd the tank.

Monday, August 15, 2005

a little news

No news today from any of the tests I had last week. Hopefully tomorrow I will have some news, at least the results of the LP. All I can say about it is that the fluid was good and crystal clear, which means no bacterial infection, or else it would have been cloudy.

Ok, so I have some other news. I've been falling more recently. Most recently I lost my balance while in the bathroom. I twisted as I fell, trying to stop my fall, grabbing at things, but unable to stop my fall. I landed flat on my back, half in, half out of the bathroom. Our house is old, about 40 years old, so the bathrooms aren't huge, and there are marble thresholds. I managed to land with the threshold right across my back where both LPs were done earlier last week. Oh, joy. I'm still aching from that one.

I also saw my therapist today, who increased my anti-depressants. No big shock, I'm depressed because of what's going on, and can be pretty miserable to be around. So I'm now maxed out, which will hopefully help a lot. And cause more posts to begin to appear here. That's actually a pretty good measure of my mental state, how long has it been since I posted, and what was the post. Is it anything of substance, or a picture of the cats? That will be a pretty good indicator of the mood I'm in.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

the two towers

Maleficent is guardian of them both.

In the place of a Dark Lord, you would have a queen! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Treacherous as the Sea! Stronger than the foundationsof the Earth! All shall love me and despair!

Ok, Maleficent, we think you've had enough catnip for now.

Friday, August 12, 2005

dinner time at the oubliette

It all started with Noah and McCullough. Then Maleficent started to feel left out, so we gave her some wet food, splitting a pouch 3 ways instead of two. It's more of a token treat each night, their main food is the krunchies they can eat whenever they want. A few days later, Mac starts to feel left out, so two packets are divided among the 4 cats, although for some reason Mac feels the need to be extremely polite, and eat once the others are done.

Eep never has wanted wet food, and as we all saw last week, she would rather have a cinnamon raisin biscuit.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

thursday night cat poetry blogging

The Naming of Cats (1939)

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey--
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter--
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover--
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
T. S. Eliot
1888 - 1965

sweet new feature

Blogger now allows the user to permanently delete a comment. Like comment spam. Horray! I have now weilded my new power, since I get an email whenever someone comments here, and deleted some new comment spam. Be warned, there is no longer the little "Comment deleted by administrator" note anymore. Mwaaa-ha-ha!

testing, day 3

I had the Evoked Nerve Potential test re-done today, and the testing went flawlessly. I should know the results early next week, along with the results of the LP from yesterday. So, now to resting, and letting my back heal from the spinal taps. Still achy, not quite as painful. I will let everyone know what the results are when I find them out.

Thank you all for the encouragement, the poetry, and everything else. I've needed it, and your encouragement has helped. The tub of chocolate fudge icing wasn't too bad, either. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

today's spinal tap

Today's procedure went much better than yesterday's, since the radiologist was able to draw the required amount of fluid. I made a quick stop by my neurologist's office for some pain medication since my back had been puntured many more times than I would have liked in a 24 hour period, and my back has had better days.

So, now tomorrow back to the hospital for evoked potential testing, round 2. I'll let you all know how that goes.

I guess I've been a healthcare provider for so long I've forgotten about the patient aspect. Of course, I'm an emergency provider, so most of my patients haven't cared about the more subtelties of bedside manner. Hell, it seems like half of them haven't been concious, or even legally alive at the moment while I worked on them. It's always been a unique experience for me, being on both sides of the healthcare equation. Being licensed caregiver and patient, sometimes both at the same time, ignoring my injury to help my patient, or becoming suddenly ill 30 minutes before shift on the rescue truck starts and having to go to the Emergency Room, is a unique experience. I only wish I could be the caregiver more often than the patient right now. It's the better side to be on, even if it can be emotionally wrenching and physically draining.

ok, so this is borderline obsessive...

I'm sitting here watching a program on the Discovery Science Channel, and they are talking about the space telescopes, mainly Hubble, and showed at least one photo from a terrestial telescope, claiming it was taken by Hubble. Exhibit A, the specific galaxy - Messier 104, NGC 4594, commonly called the Sombrero galaxy:

Note the copyright. That photograph, among hundreds of others, was taken by a telescope in New South Wales, Australia. I only know this is because I stumbled across the AAO site and images a few years ago, and have viewed and downloaded EVERY image from this site, and read the information that went along with the photos as I went. I learned a lot about astronomy, and continue to be in awe of the sheer beauty of the universe.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

update from the medical front

Today I saw the neurologist for what was supposed to be a routine LP, or spinal tap. Well, first the good news, my vitamin B-12 blood levels are high, which is good, because that means my supplementation is working. Also, the MRI of my cervical spinal cord (neck), shows no lesions.

Now, for the not so fun news. The LP* was not successful. Apparently my spondylitis has caused some bony growth that neither the nurse practioner nor the doc could navigate around to actually puncture the sheath around my spinal cord, to withdraw the CSF. Despide all the lidocaine in my back, I could still feel it when they hit the bone. It could have been worse, and I've been through worse. So, tomorrow, I get LP round 2, under flouroscopy (video x-ray) so the doc can see exactly what's going on. Whee.

And, the evoked potential test I had last week has to be re-done. The visual portion of the test was not completed, because the computer which controls the monitor that flashes the grid and whatever did not work. So, the first test was free of charge, how kind of them, and I get to go through it all again on Thursday afternoon. Whee again.

I just don't know how much more of this I can take. This is getting old. I don't blame Doc for not being able to hit the mark, the spondylitis causes bony growths which he had no idea where they were. He was doing the best he could, kept numbing me up each time even flinched or hissed, much less verbally complained of a pain. I'm ready to take a sledge hammer to the damn computers over at the hospital.

So I'm going to sit here with my spoon and continue to eat my tub of chocolate fudge icing. There's worse things I could ingesting for some comfort.

*Trivia note, it was once called a "spinal tap" because the docs of the time thought they needed a lot bigger needle to get through the muscles and actually tap the bone to make sure they were in the right spot. It's now a LP because during the normal procedure the doctor is guiding the much smaller needle into the proper area by feeling for landmarks in the pelvis and spine. Oh, and there's a lot more lidocaine involved, so I've had worse dental appointments.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

eat and run

I knew Eep had unusual tastes, but cinnamon raisin biscuit? It now rates right up there with whole wheat crackers as her favorite treat.

Eep executes a grab and dash. Turns her nose up at fresh meat, fish but is a sucker for baked goods. I'll never understand that cat.

chasing the bubbles

Maleficent is the only cat who tries to catch the bubbles in the kitty fountain. The others are simply amused by them, and watch.

I know if I keep reaching, I can catch the bubbles. This time will be different.

Note how she is pawing at the baseboards, and not the fountain. Nobody claims she's the swiftest of the bunch.

blogathon 2005 continues

As of writing this post, I am the most recent contibutor to Lair's IFOC Blogathon campaign for the Cat Welfare Society of Israel, switching from moral support to some financial backing. I know how much volunteer agencies need support, and I'm always a sucker for a good cause. Especially furry ones.

I've given time, money, blood, tears, and sleepless nights to the Rescue Squad I still consider myself to be a member of, to help people in the Huntsville, AL area in life and death situations. While I can't physically perform as an EMT right now, I swore once I could no longer help people in life or death situations, I would devote my energies to helping cats. So, until I the docs figure out what is wrong with my neruological system and I can re-join the Rescue Squad, I'll do what I can to help the kitties.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

moral support

I'm not participating in the Blogathon this year, due to a variety of circumstances, however I am giving Laurence at IFOC as much moral support as possible, who has raised $2815 as of this post for the Cat Welfare Society of Israel. The cats of the Oubliette are also giving their support, by giving their two cents worth on the Ask the Cats.

Issues the Oubliette's cats have contributed an opinion to so far:

The 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima
What do the cats think about Ask the Cats?

time to play a game

Since I have just been woken up by a thunderstorm, and there's no way I'm going back to sleep anytime soon, I, in some fever induced delerium, have decided that instead of playing "6 degrees of Kevin Bacon", that I'm going to play "6 degrees of Harry Potter". Everything can be linked in some way to Harry Potter, and here is my first example:

  1. Harry Potter buys his wand at Ollivander's Wand Emporium
  2. Mr. Ollivander is played by John Hurt
  3. John Hurt played The Storyteller, in a short lived TV series of the same name, a Jim Henson Production
  4. Jim Henson Productions also did all of the creature effects for the Sci-Fi series Farscape
  5. Ben Browder, star of Farscape, is now one of the main characters on Stargate SG-1
    (last night's episode was absolutely hilarious, but that's another post)
See, 5 degrees of separation from Harry Potter to Stargate SG-1.

Ok, so maybe it's a little unfair, since many great actors have played roles in the Harry Potter movies, but hey, I needed to entertain myself while I try to go back to sleep. IMDB also makes this a whole lot easier, and the list of shows does tell something about what I like to watch on TV.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

thursday night catblogging

Behold, Maleficent, the burrowing cat.

Noah is unimpressed.

aquarium life continues

There are still baby White Cloud Mountain Minnows in my aquarium. I'm glad that I did not purchase any other fish species, which might have found them to be rather tasty little treats. The adult White Cloud Minnows do not seem interested in eating their own offspring, and the elderly Otocinclus fortunately is a vegetarian, interested only in algae and the occasional cucumber slice. The Pygmy Cory stays to the bottom of the tank, while the fry hide in the vegetation nearer the top of the tank, so hopefully they will grow up to become large enough to join the school of Minnows.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

technical difficulties continue

Yes, there continues to be problems with getting my home grown server connected to the internet right now, so still no backgrounds or pretty little graphics.

There was a storm last week, with a lightning strike that played hell with everything that wasn't surge protected. That includes some networking cable, we think, so either I will violate Flickr's terms of service and host my background graphics from there for a little while, or continue with the solid colors until the home graphics server is back online.

I'll probably wait until the server is back online. I'm feeling too lazy to copy and edit some code then upload the needed images to Flickr.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

a note to my readers

The war of continues in my sinus passages, with the bacteria having defeated the Biaxin in the first round. The Biaxin launched it's final assault on Thursday, and there were pockets of resistance which scoffed at the antibiotic, and regrouped. So, yesterday I went back to Dr. F, and we have unleashed the antibiotic equivalent of Special Forces - doxycycline. I've been on it before, and suprisingly enough, it is easier on the stomach while taking no prisioners on the microbial front. Shall I go through the list of diseases I will not have by the time I'm done with this course? Sure, because it's amusing as hell:
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Typhus
  • Chlamydia
  • Psittacosis
  • Anthrax - any form
  • The Plague, Yersina pestis - that's right, wiped out half of Europe in the Middle Ages, and it's still around
  • Cholera
  • Listeria
  • Syphilis
  • Gohorrhea
  • Acne
  • Vincent's Infenction (Trench Mouth)
  • E. coli
Oh, yeah. Gotta love this list. Not gonna have anything after this but a yeast infection. Or was that TMI? Also, my brain is well and truly fried, from antihistimines, cough supressants, and such. So don't expect anything intelligent for the next few days. Just the insane ramblings of a woman with a bad sinus infection.

mmm, frosted flakes

I have some more Lactaid, so I can now continue with my disturbing addiction to Frosted Flakes. I think part of the frosting on the flakes is heroin, or crack, or maybe even both. Yes, I'm starting on my second Sam's Club box, 2 large bags, of Frosted Flakes.

Ok, in my own defense, there are currently 3 other adults, a teenage boy, and a pre-teen boy living in the house with me right now, also eating the Frosted Flakes. But I must make sure that I get my share before anyone else has a chance to steal my portion...

(begin science lesson)
I am lactose intolerant, my digestive system no longer produces the lactase enzyme, which breaks down lactose, a type of sugar found in milk. I must take lactase enzyme, sold under the brand name Lactaid, whenever I drink unfermented milk products, where the lactose is still intact, or else I experience abdominal cramps, bloating, and other mild but annoying symptoms. The lactase breaks lactose into the simple sugar glucose. Anything ending in -ose is a sugar, fructose, sucrose, lactose, galactose, and so on. Anything ending in -ase is an enzyme, and will break down the specific sugar, fructase, sucrase, lactase, galactase, and so on. Got it? Well, that's all I'm going to do today, you want more information, go to Google.

a second miracle

A miracle has occured in the Oubliette for the second time - the miracle of three cats, one couch, and zero bloodshed. If you click on the photo, and check the date in the information in Flickr, then go to the previous post, and click on the photo, you will see that indeed two photos were indeed taken on different dates.

Left to Right: Kitty MacBoing Boing (aka Mac for short), Maleficent, and Noah

So, if this happens a third time, exactly who gets to become a saint out of the deal?

frosted flakes

I want to know what it is about Frosted Flakes that makes them so wonderful. Not any of the generic store brands, but genuine Kellog's Frosted Flakes. I have gone through an entire Sam's Club pack of Frosted Flakes (2 large size boxes) over the course of about 2 days. I swear I ate some for dinner one night, then ate some more for a late night snack, and some more... you get the idea. I don't know what the hell is on them/in them but it's something I absolutely had to have and couldn't live without for about 3 days. Gotta love those food cravings. And no, it is not any indication of any possible status of potential motherhood.

more babies at the oubliette

This time, it's not an avian, a feline, or a homonid, but an ichthian. That's right, the small school of 6 White Cloud Mountain Minnows I purchased a few weeks ago have spawned, and the eggs have hatched. Ok, I didn't know there were any eggs until I saw the fry yesterday evening, then took these shots.

The little dark lines all pointing toward a leaf just to the right of center, near the top are the White Cloud fry. Their eyes sometimes look iridiscent blue under the color enhancing bulb.

All 6 White Cloud Mountain Minnow Adults in a single shot. They are still moving too fast for my exposure speed, but hey, at least they are fish shaped blurs.

Monday, August 01, 2005

wow, y'all really like me or something

A couple days ago someone was the 10,000th visitor to this site. (blushes) I've been on the blogosphere for less than a year, and hit 5 digits on the ol' hit counter. Thanks to everybody that has inspired me to keep writing, through the good and bad times. Hugs for everyone.

carnival of the cats #71

This week's edition of the Carnival of the Cats is being hosted this week by Gir at Your Moosey Fate. As always, she had done an excellent job, so head over there and check it out. Don't worry, this blog will still be here when you get done with absorbing as much furry goodness as possible.