Monday, August 20, 2012

R.I.P. Mikey the Cat

 Mikey joined our family over 10 years ago. He was our neighbors cat, who decided that he liked us better. I think we were both the better for his decision.

He was no spring chicken when he moved in, and had gotten pretty arthritic as the years went by. A couple of weeks ago he started drooling, then stopped eating solid food. The last few days he couldn't even sleep for the pain.  I couldn't see anything wrong with his teeth, nor could I see anything obvious with gums and such. He was having issues with his hindquarters in walking, which was getting much worse, and I finally decided the big guy had been through enough. I took him to our vet, and ended his suffering at 4:42pm, 8.20.12.

I've always claimed to be rational about pets, and kidded one of my sisters for the way she treated hers as if they were her kids, or even better than that.
Tonight, I understand that behavior completely. I did the right thing in ending his suffering.

I'm still heartbroken.

To the best cat it was ever my privilege to share a recliner and a grounding strap with.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Old cats and decisions

After returning from a Kentucky weekend a few weeks ago, I found Mikey hiding in my closet. When I was able to get him to come out, he was barely able to walk. He favored neither side, and made me wonder if he'd had a stroke. He would come out occasionally, and continued to use the litter box, so I just let him stay where he wanted to. As time went by, he's gotten better, and is currently piled up behind me in my recliner.

The main thing is that Mikey is at least 15 years old, and I'd actually guess a bit old than that. Until the last five years he was allowed outside daily, and was exposed to all of the diseases and critter encounters that goes with being an outside cat. My problem is this: if he hadn't gotten better, when should I have pulled the plug?

Actually, as much as I love the boys, if I think that either of them is in pain, or suffering in some way, I'll not hesitate to take em to the vet and have them put down. Mikey was just lucky in that he recovered quickly, for if he'd stayed in the closet another day, he'd be gone now. Both Gayle and I aren't much for spending a ton of money on pets that have had a longer than expected lifespan, and that covers both of the boys. Julian has outlived 3 younger generations of his barn cat family, and is in fact the last survivor of that particular genetic line. So, not to be crass or cruel, neither of the boys will receive heroic measures if they get ill.

All that being said, it'll be a sad day in Memphis when either Mikey or Jules are no longer here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

No, I'm not dead...

I just post that way.

I knew it had been a while, but I really thought I'd posted something since April. It's not that I've had nothing to say...I've just not had the time to say it!

Since we last spoke, I've either been working in Memphis, or working in Arlington. Gayle's uncle Charles was kidding with her, wanting to know how I was enjoying driving to Kentucky every weekend I could just to work my ass off. It's not really that bad, but mowing the 5 acres and doing the weed eating, along with picking up any and all limbs that have fallen is pretty much all I can pull off on a Saturday, and I usually head back to Memphis by 11am on Sunday. So, not much rest from having put in at least 45  to 50 hours during the week at the clinic. On top of that, we've also had a major software upgrade, which (of course) happened on a weekend that I wasn't on call. Two weeks ago I went to Kentucky early Friday afternoon, and stayed through Monday. That weekend I didn't do a damned thing but sit, read and watch the tube. I'm sure that deep down Gayle wishes that I'd done something, but she was sweet enough to let me slide, and get some rest.

Both of the cats are really starting to show their age...Jules is 15, and Mikey is somewhere in that range. Mikey is getting to where he can't get up on anything that's taller than 18 inches, and Julian... well, if Jules was human, he'd be shaking his cane and yelling for everyone to get off his lawn! Like me, they have good days and bad. On the bad ones, Mikey tries to get me reported for animal abuse, as he howls his head off, sounding like he's being tortured. I'm never sure if he's just being noisy, if he's in pain, or if he's trying to contact the mother ship.

I'm not having much luck at all on job prospects in the Purchase. Every headhunter who contacts me is wanting me for positions that are 100+ miles away.  Sheesh, with Paducah, Mayfield, Murray and Fulton all driving distance from Arlington, you'd think that there would be some IT jobs. It'd just be nice to be able to actually live in the same zip code as Gayle.

See, the downside to going months without posting.  All you do is bitch, bitch bitch.

Ok, more later, and hopefully in less than 3 months.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The joys of working weekends

So, it's the 24th, and I'm looking forward to a weekend in Arlington this week. Two weekends ago I was on call, and this past weekend we migrated the clinic software to it's new home. I was going to go the the company picnic on Sunday, but I had a failure on our storage area network at our emergency CoLocation site, and so got to spend a chunck of Sunday afternoon swapping out a hard drive in south Memphis.

When I get to Arlington on Friday, it will have been 2 days short of 3 weeks since I've been there. I know that Gayle got rid of the big bush at the side of the house, but don't know if she's tooled around the yard on the mower. If not, I figure the grass will be knee high to a overachieving giraffe. If that's the case, hopefully Saturday will be rainless, so I can get it cut. I really hope it's not too high for me to see the rocks/stumps/etc that dot the landscape.  Oh, yeah, I'll have to get gas, too.

I've gotten really used to driving the pickup, and am amazed at how far you can drive on a full tank of gas.  25 gallons at a whack gives about 100 miles further than I could go on a full tank in the the cost of 10 additional gallons. Yeah, really sucky gas milage...but that's expected with a V8 powered pickup. The best part of driving it is that you can actually SEE whats around you, both on the road and off. In most sedans, pickups and SUVs block so much of the view, all you get out of most drives is close inspections of large tailgates. All in all, I prefer to be the one being inspected, rather than doing the inspection.

The boys are as contrary as ever. Jules is still a prick, and Mikey has begun to work on a career as spokescat. At least he prowls around the apartment talking, howling, muttering, you name it. When he really gets going, Jules and I just look at each other and shrug, as neither of us have any freaking clue what the hell he's talking about.

Unless something wild and/or exciting happens, I'll update this again after the weekend.

Happy Trails!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What? It's April already?

Well, so much for good intentions. I really never expect a month to pass between entries in this blog, and find that I'm pretty surprised when it does.  So, to catch up...

Arlington first. I've gotten to where I can mow the yard in about 3 hours, and have only gotten the mower stuck in the mud once. I was there this weekend, and got a good start on modifying the garage to hold the pickup truck I traded my Infiniti for. We discovered the first time we pulled it in that it was about 6 inches too long for the garage door to close.  So, I'll be removing the shelving units in the back of the garage to give it that extra 6 inches.  However that'll not be until the 28th, as I'm on call next weekend, and the one after that has me migrating our electronic medical records software to new servers. So, Gayle will have to keep the grass at bay until then.  However, I have the truck with me in Memphis, as I have to get it inspected and tagged here, to keep the finance company happy. So that means she has the Kia, which probably makes her happier.  However, since it cost me $78 bucks to fill the truck up on the way home, and she drives a lot less than I do, she'll be the one keeping the pickup as her main vehicle.

Now for Memphis.  As I mentioned, we're upgrading a lot of software at the clinic. 2 weeks after I migrate the EMR software to the new servers, we're upgrading that software to the latest version, which allows for all the new federal regulations. After that, I'll be upgrading us to VMware 5.1, and the from Exchange 2007 to 2010. Most of this work will be done on weekends when I'm on call, and can't go to Arlington, to maximize the time I have up there.

I'm listing with any and every headhunter firm that covers west Kentucky.  For now, however, it appears that none of these are actually in west Kentucky, and I'm finding that headhunters don't believe in checking maps before calling with "the perfect opportunity". Yeah, right.  Perfect except for the 190 mile commute each way.  Sheesh, I've been pretty emphatic on not relocating, and not being willing to drive 4 hours to get to work. Oh, well, eventually something will crop up. Until then, it's me and the boys in Memphis!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What are the odds?

The first round of tornado's have thrashed the eastern half of the country this past week. You always think that getting hit by a tornado is something that happens to others, and for me and mine that's been the case.  However, with the size of the freaking outbreaks over the past few years, the odds are shrinking in favor of the tornado's. Of course, moving from east Tennessee (where tornado's are still damned rare) to Memphis, with plans on moving to just south of Paducah, Kentucky eventually, is like allowing the storms to double down.

Yesterday it got up to 82 degrees here. On March 2nd. What the hell's up with that?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fitting in

I was in Arlington this past weekend, and actually managed to get a good bit done.  I got the yard picked up, and burned the pile of tree trash I'd been collecting, along with Joe's old mattress that the garbage collectors wouldn't haul off. That took a 1/4 bottle of charcoal starter, and about 2 pints of good ol' unleaded.


I also got the kitchen sink unclogged, and did most of the dishes that had piled up while the sink was out of action. This coming weekend, I'll be concentrating on the vac'ing up all the water, and figuring out how to keep it out. I'm thinking that this will involve cement and a sump pump, both of which I plan on buying locally.  If I can get that done, we can start getting rid of the trash in the basement, and turn it into a usable part of the house.

I saw a cammo jacket on sale at MidwayUSA a couple of weeks ago, and bought it on speculation. Surprise! When wearing it doing the yard work, I look like I actually belonged there...given that every other male above the diaper stage wears cammo...and part of the diaper crowd probably does, too.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

when was the last time.....

...everyone you know were talking about the same book.  I just saw an Audible.Com commercial which used that as the premise of why you should listen to books. I read a lot. Gayle can confirm this, as can the cats (assuming you speak the southern version of feline). I work in a freaking orthopaedic clinic, where you would assume that we have intelligent employees, but not a single person at work has ever admitted to reading anything, except for maybe the intro to a YouTube video.

Lest you think that I'm putting on airs, I'll admit to trying to slog through classic 20th century novels, beginning with The Grapes of Wrath. The main thing I brought away from that was the instruction that my first creative writing teacher taught was absolutely dead on...DO NOT USE SLANG, "HIP" TALK OR OTHERWISE DATE YOUR WORK. If everyone in the 30's talked like that, no wonder they were prone to lawlessness and gunplay.  Hell, I'd have shot them myself!

On call weekends and gun shows

I'm on call this weekend, and that means I saved some project work to do during off hours. There's always things that need to be done, but require that the users be off the systems. That means that the weekend is the best time for it. This weekend it's moving files between servers, which is easy, time consuming and boring as hell. The main issue is to make sure that all security attributes are copied with the files, so that the correct users have access to them on Monday. RoboCopy is the perfect tool for this, and so that's exactly what I'm using. Tomorrow I'll finish up with this, along with the other tasks I've got on the agenda.

After getting all of this started, I went to the gun show being held at the AgriCenter in Germantown. I've not been to a gun show in forever, and had a fine old time.  It was crowded as hell, but that was really the only downside. And, since you can't go to such a thing without buying something, I picked up a couple of new magazines and 2 metal ammo cans. All of this was less than 40 bucks, so I was reasonably frugal.  There were so many interesting things, that I probably went past every booth at least 3 times just to make sure I'd seen everything.

While all this is fun, I'd much rather be up in Arlington with Gayle. She could use the help and companionship, and I'm just ready to get to where I plan on being for the duration.  I figure the sooner I can get up there and get settled in, both locally and with a job, the sooner we can make friends and actually start to have a social life. I just hope that I can find a job that pays close to what I'm making now...while it's cheaper to live there, I need to really start pumping cash into the 401k.

Mikey just hopped up onto the arm of the chair, to let me know that I've typed enough. These critters sure are pushy at times....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

If this was Arlington, I'd be smelling West Vaco

One of the main employers in the area of west Kentucky where Gayle hangs out now is a pulp mill that used to be called (and to most, always will be) West Vaco. When it's foggy/cloudy/rainy in Arlington, you can smell the pulp mill most strongly. To anyone who's ever lived in proximity to a pulp mill, you know just how horrific this can be.

Normally I'll load the car as far as I can the night before I head up to Kentucky, just to cut down on the amount of time it takes to get out of Memphis on Friday afternoon.  However, it's raining so damn hard right now I'll just pile everything up, and load it up tomorrow, when it's supposed to be cool and clear.

Mikey has been waiting on the arm of the chair patiently for me to finish this post, only occasionally reaching out to try to take over the mouse. So, I'll click publish and let him flow over onto my lap for his afternoon pets.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What dictionary are you using?

I've been a fan of internet shopping for a long time. It's easy, avoids going to places like malls, and I've generally had good luck with doing so. However, I've started to notice a trend where a vendor posts that they have an item in stock. What this is coming to mean is that they think that their vendor has it in stock, and that they'll ship it to you as soon as they get it from them. What all this means, is that "we'll ship in 3 - 7 business days" means don't hold your breath, you'll get it when we get it to ship to you. No wonder everyone is starting to ship for free...they save money on inventory taxes.

I'm getting into the rhythm of driving to Arlington most weekends, and I'm really getting comfortable there. I'm recognized in the local grocery store, and with as much as I'm buying from them, I should be known at the local restaurant. This weekend I'm taking entree items so that I can cut down on that particular expense, and have the opportunity to cook for more than myself and the cats.

Speaking of my diminutive room mates, Mikey got tired of taking crap from Jules today and beat the living hell out of him.  Jules was trapped under the bed, yelling for help and denying that he'd done anything to have caused such an unwarranted attack. I had to pull Mikey out by the tail to get him out of attack mode, after which he stalked down the hallway, stopping occasionally to glare back towards the bedroom, muttering things like "punk ass bitch" and "wait til we're alone, and you've got nobody to save you". Fortunately for Jules, Mikey has the memory of a late stage dementia patient, so Jules will probably live to torment another day.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year...

I was on call this weekend, so I had to stay in Memphis instead of going to Arlington. Being a sensible person, I stayed at the apartment last night, and left the public partying to younger, braver folks. I rang in the new year with 2 idiot cats, and an open chat window to Gayle. Gayle's comments were, as usual, more sensible than anything that Jules or Mikey came up with.

We did watch "Cowboys and Aliens", which is a pretty good movie. There were a lot of cliches, but they didn't really interfere with me and the boys enjoyment of the flick. Of course, watching it beginning at 12:30am with a couple of drinks in me might have influenced my opinion.