Thursday, March 1, 2018

What goes around....

So, it's March 1st of 2018.  I'm (again) living apart from Gayle, this time back in Oak Ridge. I've a new job that's going from temp to perm next month at SAIC, and we'll be relocating here permanently. We'll be putting the house in Arlington KY on the market as soon as I can convince Gayle that I really do have a full time job, and that we can survive here.

After all, here's where my family still is, and where Gayle has lots of friends. On top of that, the job is in the same building where I had my first full time IT position, as opposed to doing IT as an afterthought to my "real" job, which I did from the early 80's. Back then nobody except huge corporations had full time IT departments...they had people who would pull the coax cable and connect all the desktops into workgroups. And yes, find the frakin disconnected terminator that somebody didn't like sticking out of the back of their pc.

Part of the delay in moving is that we currently have 5 a orange tomcat that answers to the name of Stoop (short for stupid, which he isn't). He was my father-in-law's cat, and was the most timid tomcat I'd ever met.  He got over that.

The others are the kids of a little girl that showed up at the Kentucky house one day while I was still living in Memphis.  Even though Gayle knows the "if you feed them, you're theirs" rule with stray kittens, she fell for it. She also didn't get her fixed, so the inevitable happened. To make matters worse, she wouldn't litter train.  This is the only cat I've ever seen that would run away from the box.

She had 4 babies. When they were old enough, I took them to the vet and had them fixed.  The same day I took the momma to be humanely put down, as I couldn't find a home for her.  The girls at the vet's office saved the day, and got her a permanent position as a stable cat, who would get all sorts of attention from the kids that took lessons at the stable. Stoop took over parental duties, and I figured that it would just be a matter of time until they all had new homes.

That'll teach me to figure.  Instead they fully recognized a good thing when they were living it, so we've accepted the reality of belonging to 5 wildly different cats.

I'm going to Arlington tomorrow, so I'll get a bunch of pics to post once I'm back in Oak Ridge on Sunday.

That isn't much after all these years, but it'll have to do for now.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

RIP Julian Bashir Herring 1996 - 2013

I took Julian to the vet after I got home from work and found him hiding under the day bed upstairs in the loft. His breathing was labored, and he'd been bleeding from his nose. The vet checked him out, and the diagnosis was a tumor in the sinus cavity that had started affecting his brain. That accounted for the convulsions that he went through this morning. At his age, and with the prognosis being that he'd go down rapidly, with more frequent and more violent seizures, I had the vet end it. I held him on my lap til the end, which came quick and easy.

It was almost harder coming back to the empty apartment. At least when I went through this with Mikey, Jules was waiting for me when I got back. When you're separated from you wife as I've been for over 3 years except for the occasional weekend, the guys gave me someone to talk to, to vent to without comment back, and (most important for me) someone to keep me relatively sane.

For anyone with pets, what I did today is the hardest thing you'll ever do. No matter the need, no matter that its the correct thing to do, you are intentionally ending the life of a critter that you've shared your life with for years. They will generally still be aware, still interacting with their world, and with an injection and a few seconds all of that stops. Regardless of who wielded the syringe, you just killed your pet.

So, I'm sitting here occasionally in tears,with a candle and a stick of incense burning in honor of a small gray cat that never took shit from anyone.

Vaya con Dios, little man.

And then there were none...

Jules has taken a turn for the worse, and I'll be surprised to find him still clinging to the mortal coil when I get home from work today. He had either an epileptic seizure or a stroke this morning, and I left him sleeping when I came in to work. I really find myself hoping that nature takes care of this...having to make end-of-life decisions with 2 cats in a row, especially having lived with them for so many years, is just about too much.

More on this story as it unfolds....

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dragon*Con recap

Well, Dragon*Con was as fun as always. Here's a look at my parade costume:

And yes, it was as bloody hot as it looks. The parade route was longer this year, and the wait to start was draining. But, I was actually able to keep the costume on for a few hours after the parade ended, which was fun. 

This year I didn't make it to as many of the panels as I have in the past. But, since we've already gotten our room reservations for next year, I guess I can make up for it.  I spent one day as a character from the Dresden Files, and didn't get a single person to guess who I was supposed to be. Next year it'll be with a good staff and the cloak of the Gray Council (lets see if anyone gets THAT reference!).

The Arlington house is now officially in our name. I managed to get the mower working, and fixed the chain saw. So, guess what I get to do until winter...

So, here's to Fall, cooler temperatures, and a new set of kittens in Arlington. Who knows, maybe they'll learn to like humans...though they sure don't right now!

And now, more Con pics!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

If it's August, it must be Dragon*Con Time!

In 10 days my craziest sister and I will be on our way to Atlanta to participate in Dragon*Con. I'm still trying to figure out how she convinced me to go the first time (this will by my 3rd year), and even more impressive she's managed to get me to actually dress up in costume. If you think it strange that a couple of near 60 year old siblings spend a weekend playing dress up, then you've never been to a science fiction / fantasy convention. For more information, go to HTTP://WWW.DRAGONCON.ORG.

This year, the same as last year, we'll be in the Saturday parade through downtown Atlanta in the Steampunk group. I've souped up the costume from last year to something that doesn't look like it was purchased from a cheap costume store. I just hope it's not as hot as it was last year. My costume didn't last past the parade, as it was soaked in sweat by the time we finished up.

As one of my favorite authors is scheduled to be at the con this year (Dresden File's Jim Butcher), my Friday costume is an easy one.  I'm going as Blackstaff Ebeneezer McCoy. That means I'll be in overalls, t-shirt, boots, a gnarly staff, and a grey cloak. I'm just curious as to how many people figure it out!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The gods have a twisted sense of humor....

In our last episode, we learned that the intrepid duo are bagging their long held plans of retiring to Arlington, in favor of moving back to the best side of Tennessee.

Last Monday, after all the decisions had been made, I got a job offer from the company doing the IT work at the old gasseous diffusion plant in Paducah. It was the kind of offer that you don't turn down easily...good money, great benefits, etc. However, since we'd decided to drop the west Kentucky stuff, I turned it down (if through gritted teeth).

Fast forward to Wednesday. I noticed the voice mail indicator was showing on my phone. I thought that weird, since I'd not gotten any calls that day. When I listened to them, I discovered they were from the previous week, and from the guy at the plant. He wanted me to call him back to offer me the job. Now, if I'd actually gotten the message the day it was left, I'd have taken the job and turned in my notice at the clinic. I'm starting to believe that somebody out there really wants me back in east Tennessee, as this is the first and only time that voice mail messages didn't show up on my phone as soon as they were left. Since then, I've actually gotten messages, with no delay.

Funny, huh?

Gayle told me today that Stoopid managed to get out of the house last night, and hasn't been seen since. I hope he's ok, but figure he just had a lot of business to catch up on. After all, he's only been a full-time indoor cat for a couple of months.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

What do you mean it's August?

It's August 4th. I'm looking at another shot at upgrading our Exchange environment next weekend, but this time the entire department is going to help.  Hopefully we can get that knocked out, and start enjoying the benefits of Exchange 2013.

Gayle and I (well, mainly me to make it possible to live with Gayle) have decided that we'll be selling the house in Arlington. We'll put it on the market once we've gotten it in our name. The problem is that Gayle doesn't want to live in Arlington, hasn't made any friends there in the 2+ years she's lived there, and wants to get back to her friends in East Tennessee. As I've not made any bones about not being fond of the west end of either Kentucky or Tennesee, I'm not exactly bummer by the decision, but there's this:

I've spent the last 2 years looking for work in the Paducah area, having turned down headhunters from the Knoxville area. Now, I'll have to eat crow and get them working to find me a job there again. On top of that, getting away for interviews in Paducah envolved a 3 hour drive...Knoxville is 7 hours away without risking life and license to get there. Oh, well, I've a ton of vacation time, so we'll just have to see.

I plan on bringing Stoopid down from Arlington in 2 weeks. I'll have him neutered, get him checked out and immunized, and introduce him to Julian. Won't that be fun!

23 days til I head to Oak Ridge on the first leg of the Dragon*Con adventure this year!