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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] dungeonwriter, [profile] brainlesswonder, AND [profile] hmpinky!!

So, weird dream last night where some teenagers stole my car for a chop shop, and the local teen heroes were total douchebags about it. But my car was saved from the chop shop and returned to me by the A Team, because they had a soft spot for cars from the 1980s.

Rocky is behind me, snoring. Every time I fart, I figure I'm giving him a Dutch Toaster Oven.

So, with regards to JJ Abrams and Star Trek and Star Wars... I understand I'm in the minority in Not Liking Abrams, much less the stuff he did with Star Trek. An alternate timeline, I can handle. I can even accept some changes in Trek technology, or even "Treknology," as it were, but total disregard of physics (building a starship on a planetary surface, besides being rather unsafe, is too difficult for 22nd-23rd technology; transporters with no range limit; red matter; Spock, who was all about preserving original timelines as far back as "The City on the Edge of Forever" deciding to alter/interfere with his own past, alternate timeline or no...) It's just...too much. I think good storytelling was sacrificed for the eye candy that makes the masses happy. And I think Star Wars now has the same problem looming ahead. Or, actually, more of the same problem; I think this is what tripped Lucas up with the prequels. I think this is what tripped up Ron Moore in the last half of BSG. I think this is what tripped up Abrams with Lost.

Maybe I read too much. I've read too much of James Luceno, David Mack, Dayton Ward, Peter David, Keith DeCandido, Michael Stackpole, Allan Allston, Steve Perry, Michael Reaves, Timothy Zahn, and others... Others who have taken some of the crappy things from movies and turned them into halfway arcs in novel form. They tell a story and shock people with the quality of the story itself, the ability to transport us to another time and space, and make us forget about believability, rather than using Michael Bay-esque explosions and M. Shyamalan-esque twists. We have the frugal deaths warned against in Scalzi's Redshirts.

Unfortunately, this is what the masses want. Because no one has the time or patience to sit down and read a book. Even if they can do so on their phone.

Interestingly, some of the above can be said of the late 90s debacle known as Batman and Robin. Maybe Joel Schumacker was simply before his time...

If people like the new Trek and such, hey, glad you enjoyed it. But when you start saying it's the best thing ever or better than what came before? I'll need to beat you with my empty wrapping paper tube lightsaber. I will then throw bound pieces of paper at you as I throw the Vanguard series at you, or James Luceno's Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, or even Steve Perry and Michael Reeve's Death Star. No, no, these things are books. You might want to look into them...

Hi, my name is David, and I'm a tie-in bibliophile. As well as regular bibliophile. And comicphile (really glad Gail Simone is sticking around for Batgirl, and I hope they keep Geoff Johns for Green Lantern).

I guess, having read enough, I have a different standard by which I judge a story to be good or not. I mean, it's all subjective anyway. I guess I just get tired of people looking at me funny and saying, "You don't like the new Star Trek? What is wrong with you?"

Then again, these people can understand the problems I had with I, Robot and why I've no interest in seeing World War Z. Sorry, folks, but Susan Calvin was an older, asexual scientist, not a young cute thing that would wet her panties at the sight of Wil Smith. Furthermore, the movie had nothing to do with the novel, aside from Robots based on Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, and in fact was originally under a different title until the producer, at the last moment, trying to capitalize on Asimov's name, changed the title at the last minute. Likewise, World War Z is not a single narrative. You want to film it? Make it a miniseries. Kind of like Tom Hanks and HBO with the From the Earth to the Moon series.

Of course, this is all just my $0.02, which is worth less than even that. Your mileage may vary. Just...stop treating me like a freak when I say, "Actually, I don't like Abrams' Trek and don't plan to spend money I don't have on World War Z and so on.


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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] annietopia!!

Just have a little laundry to finish up, and then the weekend chores are done.

Mom and Rich may have a solution to the wedding flower woes: Costco. In short, they can order flowers from there, then create the centerpieces and such themselves. With help, of course. Good thing I'm already looking ahead and figuring of taking some vacation time around then.

Today has been a lazy day for me. I woke up in the middle of the night with a stomach ache and esophagitis, coupled with an obligatory panic attack. Took stuff for it, then zonked out. Until noon. Then I took a nap. So, yeah, brain no worky today...

The cloudy/rainy/drizzly/foggy weather doesn't help, either. Though I do get a sense of happiness, or maybe just smugness, that I did get the outdoor Christmas decorations and lights taken down and put away yesterday.

I'm also in a weird headspace to begin with... One of the books I'm reading, My Enemy, My Ally... It's an original series Trek novel by Diane Duane. I've read it twice before, and both times, it was during a rather nasty life-changing crisis. The first time was when Dad had his heart attack back in July of 1989. The second time was when I had to change schools in 1991. I know it's entirely irrational, but since then, I've considered the book to be "cursed" somehow, and even though I enjoyed the story, I've avoided re-reading it. But now, I have a copy on my Kindle. I feel like I need to hurry up and finish reading it before something bad happens rather than to just...enjoy the story.

Again, I know it's entirely irrational. But the events mentioned happened in my early-to-mid teens, and have stuck with me since. One of those irrational childhood things that carry over to adulthood, you know?

Anyway, not much else. Dental cleaning and night guard fitting tomorrow. Mom's birfday next weekend and a three-day weekend. Other than that, it looks to be a fairly quiet week. And since I get paid this week, that also means a trip to CBH. Woot?

Though, when all is said and done, I'll be happy to be a non-sick, normal-ish-feeling human bean.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] unsilenceddream, [profile] drewshi, AND [personal profile] seanan_mcguire!!!

So...life has smacked me upside the head. A little. First off, not going to dance tonight. The anemia stuff has me feeling a little drained, and the morning ended up being busy. So, I'm going to pace myself. As for the morning's busyness? Well, I went to check the fluids and such on the car. I also noticed a front tire kind of low on air. So, I got to try out my new digital tire gage and such. Put air in the tire, thanks to Rich's air compressor, but, I discovered a few problems. First, there's a slice mark on that tire into a small area of tread. There's also a screw embedded in the tread. Lastly, the side walls are cracking. I noticed various degrees of cracking on the other tires. The result is that I will be replacing the tires sooner than later. I was hoping to hold out until the summer, but... Meh. The windshield might have to wait until after the tires. So, I need to do some budgeting this weekend and figure out how things are going to go the next few weeks. Or months. Or whatever.

Here and there, I'm still getting impressions or even admissions that people think I'm slumming here at home. It's annoying, but these days, it's annoying in that it means there's someone else I have to write off. At this point, if people don't know my situation, know what I've done for my family, and so on, then they don't deserve to be in my life. Indeed, they're already out of it to be so clueless. The Cliffsnotes version, for anyone needing to be brought up to speed, is that I helped out my mother after my father died. I put my family first and helped pay the bills, mortgage, and so on when the place where Mom worked kicked her to the curb. It was only two years ago that she found a permanent job that paid her more than half of what she was making before. She's still getting on her feet financially. On top of that, before she had the hip replacement (almost three years ago), there wasn't a whole lot she could do around the house, and I couldn't see having to take care of my own place and be over here 2-3 times a week to take care of this place for her.

Why am I still here? Well, before Mom had the hip surgery and before she got her current job, I sacrificed my own credit to keep a roof over our heads, up to and including buying her a car when her Sebring died. She no sooner got her new job that the engine in my car went, and it was cheaper to replace it than get a new car, or, another used car with likely the same or more problems than what Cammie has. Given that my credit was shot, there was no way I'd get approved for anything "new" or even comparably equipped to what I have now. What I'm restoring now. Now, I'm still paying off the engine, since there have been other issues that have come up, like all the dental work I needed that wasn't covered, other medical stuff not covered (such as co-pays), needing a new motherboard and chipset when the furkids knocked a glass of iced tea onto my computer, and then all the vet stuff this past year with TomTom and YoYo and Rocky. I'm surprised I had anything left for Christmas gifts.

I'm not here because I'm lazy or mooching or can't function on my own or anything else. I'm here because I'm, if anything, more responsible than most and have a high value on my immediate family.

Will I be here forever? Probably not. I'm here for the next few years at least, since it's going to take some time to dig myself out of debt and save up enough for my own place. I can't see getting an apartment or somesuch where I can't have pets or don't have enough room for all my books and such. I would like my own place someday, but for right now, where I am works. I can continue to help Mom and Rich out, dig myself out of debt, and have some significant freedom for my cats.

Anyone who doesn't know this by now or who still thinks I'm slumming it...can go take a long walk off a short pier.

In other news... I didn't get any writing done yesterday. I instead had that annoying voice that says I'll never be published, that I don't have what it takes to be an author. So, instead of getting any writing done, I was instead busy gagging that bitch and kicking her off a cliff. Would I be able to write full-time? Don't know. Not any time soon, that's for sure. I'd need to get established first. And I need the medical benefits from my current day job. But, if I'm successful at writing, then early retirement is a definite option...

Just some stuff bouncing around in my head. That, and... I'm going to (finally) use some of my medical time on the 14th for a trip to the dentist. I'm debating taking the whole day and maybe getting in to see the family doc to get the ball rolling on this anemia thing. Sadly, I shouldn't have to even think about this; I should be able to put my health first. It's times like this that I wish I had ignored a LOT of people in the past and actually focused on my writing a lot sooner...

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] hopefulspirit AND [personal profile] zoe_de_la_luna!!

First... I have less than a week before I have to go back to work. Fuck! Although, I also feel guilty for having this week off when everyone else has to go to work. Then again... I've noticed I've had fewer stomach and anxiety issues in the time off. Not necessarily sure that that's a work thing or a getting-enough-sleep thing. Maybe both?

Today ended up working in reverse. Originally, today was going to be a chore day and tomorrow be an errands day. Instead, I went to CBH and grocery shopping. Short trip at the grocery store, since things are pretty well stocked at the moment, and with having off from work, there's not much I needed to get in the way of lunch stuff. But... I dropped almost $100 at the comic book store. I finally gave in and added Superman to my pull list (though I'm still more of a fan of Batman). I also got what back issues they had since the "New 52" reboot, which was most of them. Coupled with a "heavy" trip with everything else I have on my pull list, and also a new edition of MAD magazine... Yeah, it was expensive. But worth it.

My active pull list includes:Read more... )

Originally, I was going to cut my hair, clean the bathroom, take care of the cat boxes, and vacuum the house today. I might get a few of those things done tonight yet. And get the rest done tomorrow. Friday is another errands day of a sort. Blood bank, chiropractor, and maybe stop at Kohl's to have my new watch band adjusted. It depends how I feel after the trip to the blood bank.

On the bright side, I did install the RAM upgrade to Mom's computer and test it. Simple enough, and her computer seems to be operating a bit faster.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] jeanne_dark!!

Well, the good news is that I'm done wrapping gifts and am, basically, ready for Christmas. Just need to leave some stuff in stockings.

In addition to wrapping gifts, I managed to get the banister garland up, put the storage boxes away, aid in the preparation of the feast for the evening, and take care of a few other odds and ends. Unfortunately, I ate too much at dinner and am having a little indigestion right now. Also, I'm only about half way through my laundry. Meh.

But, back on the bright side, not much to do tomorrow. Despite the extra sleep and napping I did this past weekend, I'm looking forward to some extra sleep tomorrow. And maybe some extra reading time.

Anyway, more later...

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] deza!!

And for the holidays...

It's been very windy around here since last night. No precipitation with said wind, just...noisy. And cold, if you go out in it to take out the trash or get the mail.

Speaking of mail... We got a box of fruit from the Newark Farmer's Market. They have excellent fruit for really cheap, plus with it being local grown and such... Mom goes there a fair amount of the time. But...a box of fruit. Primarily, I guess, for Yoda.

The bi-fold door to the storage area has been found open an inordinate number of times over the past few days. Rocky knows how to open doors. After making sure it wasn't someone else, I have concluded that Rocky has been making regular checks on his crunchy food supply, possibly worried that the stepgoggies are getting into it.

The rest of my Christmas shopping has arrived. Wrapping shall commence!

The Christmas tree is decorated, and some of the boxes have been put away. I'll let Mom take care of the banister and stockings and other little stuff. Everything's pretty much coming together nicely.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] dr_nebula AND [profile] libradragonmom!!!

As it is also my brother-in-law, Scott's, birthday, this will be a bit high-speed, low-budget, since I'm heading over there after this entry for dinners and festivities, after making a detour to the drug store for vitamins and a card.

Not much to report, though. It's been productive here. I got the grass cut and took care of the cat boxes and such. I didn't get to the vacuuming, but, oh well. There's still tomorrow. And I might be able to toss a load of laundry into the machines before I head out.

Rocky is still pretty much back to normal, save for the fact that I now have to microwave his dinners - he's back to regular Purina food - and serve them up in my room (so the goggies don't bother him). And then there's Riffy, who seems to like camping out in the doggie sleeping tent when the dogs are downstairs.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] annastesia AND [personal profile] az_starshine!!

Rocky and I are slowly recovering. We've both been napping a LOT this weekend. I think we're both just plain burnt out from the past few weeks.

Other than that...not much else going on. Slowly plugging through the weekend chores. Slowly regaining the ability to breathe through my nose. Oh, and Yoda, in addition to asking, "You okay there?" now also asks, "What'cha doin'?" Again, the fact that he gets a response, and thus interaction, makes him ask these questions often. Eventually, he'll have enough question phrases to conduct interviews.

Anyway, I'm going to try to take it easy for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, this goes through my mind...

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] davidkevin!!

High-speed, low-budget entry for today, since I have a shit-ton of stuff to get done/finish up for the weekend...

Kitties are all doing well. I think. Turns out, Minerva didn't go back to her room after we got back from the vet yesterday. She instead found a quiet spot behind some stuff on one of the shelves of the entertainment center and slept off her shots. I discovered this last night right before bed, and she came out of the entertainment center and went under the recliner. She wasn't there this morning, so, I don't know where she's carved herself an observational napping hidey-hole. I figure, though, that if she's not making a beeline for her room, then maybe this is progress. Give her some time to observe us from safety and really understand that nothing bad is going to happen to her.

Not much else. Rocky is kind of resigned to the cone now. Though he did wake me up twice last night to scratch his face and chin for him.

Anyway, back to work around here...

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] sir_cat, [personal profile] klingonguy, AND [personal profile] oxymoron67!!!

Today...has been a gods-awful day.

The DMV was a disaster. I think they saw my car and were determined to fail it.

The guy doing the emissions inspections was a complete dick. I told him that I had a new engine and exhaust system and I needed the generic test because the VIN was useless. So he starts pulling out lights and mirrors to look under the car and says that with a single catalytic converter (cat) and two/dual exhaust lines, it's not an acceptable exhaust system, that I need two cats for a dual exhaust. He does the test and it passes...except for high idle CO emissions. Looking at the results for eerything else, which is barely half of acceptable limits... You know, the old 305 smog engine with a single, old exhaust line was never that high. In short, I don't know what he did, but he fudged the test. I'll take it to Gary to make sure, but I know my car, and there is just no way my emissions could be that high. Downtuning the carburetor still wouldn't make emissions that high. I'd have to screw up the carburetor and take off the cat to get readings like that.

On top of that, they failed it for the accident damage. They said that I had to at least get the light working, which it is. I checked before and after. They said I had a non-regulation lens.

In short, they were determined to fail the car no matter what. Because they have an edict to get older cars off the road. Because they want to enforce non-innovation and conformity. Well, not quite that deep; they just want a population more easy to control.

So, go inside, and at least got my license renewed. Though the guy was borderline jerky about my documentation, even though it was all acceptable. To recap: Delaware has a one-time document thing (kind of like the one-time document check when you first get your license, so one-time check just means we want you to think this is it, but we can change the rules and there's nothing you can do about it). I'm sure they'll require a blood sample and a DNA clone for the next one-time check in 10 years or so. If I'd known my trip was going to be so frustrating and counter-productive, I'd have brought a vial of blood, a urine sample, and a semen sample with me. Hell, those things are better identifiers than mere documents.

For shits and giggles, I went back to the information desk to ask if I could at least switch the vanity plates. "Yeah, you can go ahead and do that today." Great! So, I wait another 15 minutes. Get to the counter, and the girl behind says no, I can't switch plates without Mom there, since her name is on both cars. I told her Mom had called and was told all I needed was copies of the vehicle registrations and a signed letter. She goes and checks with her boss, then comes back and says that no, Mom has to be there, because they need a signature. I point to the signature on the letter. That's not good enough; they need a power of attorney and a notarized signature. Which is bullshit.

Now... Mom got word from her attorney about reaching settlement for her accident that totaled the Saab a year and a half ago. She and Rich are planning to help me out a little. First part of that is that they'll front me the money to get the accident damage fixed. That leaves me with checking with Gary on the emissions.

Mom is having her bariatric bypass surgery in the middle of August. The plan is to go to the DMV at the end of August and get the car re-inspected. Then Mom, post-surgical, is going to get the walker out of the attic, we're going to get an oxygen line and maybe some other tubes, and then Rich and I are going to prop her up at the counter and she's going to very slowly and very loudly say, "Okay, I'm here. What's so special that I need to be here to transfer a vanity plate from one car to the other? And why is it that when I called the last time I was given erroneous information about this?"

That...at least made me smile. So does the fact that I have the last inspection results and access to a Zeutschel scanner and state-of-the-art industry-grade processing software. One way or another, my car will pass inspection. Cheating? More like countering cheating.

Moving along...

I managed to get a vet appointment for Rocky for this afternoon. He's now current on all his shots, is healthy, and weighed in at 19.7 pounds, which seems a bit lighter than I was expecting. Then again, he didn't exactly stay still on the scale. The thing on the side of his face? Not a cyst, but also not cancer. Benign tumor. Not life-threatening, but the sooner it's off, the better. So, we were going to do it today if I could get my Care Credit card limit extended, since it's a $700 surgery, what with it being close to his eye, needing meds, some bit of kitty plastic surgery, and so on. Credit Care denied an increase. Good thing it wasn't something life-threatening, or else I would have reached through the phone and throttled the guy.

This is the other thing Mom and Rich are going to help me out with. Well, Mom, mainly. She's going to give me money for TomTom's end care. That will wipe out the balance in that card so I can get Rocky his surgery. My goal is to eventually pay off that card and, once the other regular cards are paid down significantly, I'll get rid of it. I want to leave myself something in case of an emergency, but, if I can get rid of it, I will. Useless bastards.

So, overall, it's been a sucky day full of suck. Nice start to my birfday weekend. I think I'm going to hide this one out, complete with coffee, kindle, and comic books. Also? People suck. Way too many people suck. But, I'm glad that Mom will be able to help me out a little in a few weeks. I hate having to rely on anyone else like this, but then, she also sees it as payback for when I helped her out in times of need over the past five or six years or so.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] jaddziadax AND [profile] lundarbluekandi!!

With the shit storm that is the Paterno/Sandusky/Penn State debacle, there was at least one person who stood up to Paterno and, by extension, the status quo of sports worship... To clarify... I'm not against the enjoyment of sports, the playing of sports, and so on. I'm against people getting a pass on being Decent Human Beings simply because they can throw a ball, run, or whatever, or because they are integrally associated with those people. I am against the idea that if you don't care for commercial sports, that there's something wring with you, especially if you're a male, and that bullying for this is a part of life. I'm against the hypocrisy of commercial sports fans who do all sorts of painting and fanatical behavior, then mock sci-fi, fantasy, anime, and Renaissance cosplayers. especially when those cosplayers often participate in charity work. I'm against the commercial forces of these sports that cover up and deny wrongdoing, let alone illegal and harmful activities and, when they get caught, try to sell a sob story of a hard childhood or portray the activity as an exception and not the norm that is usually covered up. And then those commercial forces saying someone is redeemed when they're not and having the power to alter history, make people forget, and make a problem go away. I'm against sheeple being so entrenched in the cultural norm of sports worship that they go along with it and throw their money at these people for jerseys, tickets, and so on, rather than to stand up and say, "Enough is enough! I have standards!"


Moving along...

One of the things I watched this weekend was the first Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movie. Overall, it was well done. Cut for potential spoilerage. )

I think I'm coming down with some sort of summer cold. I'm feeling slightly congested, and right in my throat, too. It's making me snore, which I hardly ever do anymore since I had my tonsils out. Consequently, snoring is making my throat even more sore. Meh.

Rocky... Rocky is a bit stressed and is still pulling his fur out. He can handle one of the stepgogs at a time, but, when they gang up on him, as they've done twice this weekend, that's too much for him. When he has the high ground at the top of the steps, he can keep both of them at bay. But in the kitchen, say? One will circle behind him, and then it's all he can do to get away from the jumping, slobbering, barking monsters. Of course, Brandon and Bridgett are sent to their room when this happens, and I try to help Rocky escape as best I can. But ultimately? He needs a buddy. Riffy or Minerva. Or both. They can cover each other's backs. Must think on this some more.

Have to share this because waaaaay too many of my Discworld friends have left Facebook but, thankfully, are still here in blog land...

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] liesbyomission!!

Today is...plugging along. I canceled my appointment with the blood bank. I'm still a bit dehydrated, so, I figured it's better to just reschedule for a few weeks later. Other than that, I've gotten a start on the weekend stuff. Lunch stuff is done. I still need to take care of the cat boxes, the bird cages, trash, and vacuuming the house. And laundry. But I have the pool pump running, added some chemicals, and have assembled the new vacuum. Unfortunately, it's a bit of a rainy weekend, so, not sure how much progress will be made on that front...

I'm back to thinking of taking a long weekend the weekend of my natal day. Originally, I was thinking of taking this coming Friday off to take care of all the stuff at DMV, but, I was going to take a half day the following Friday. Instead, I figure I'll save a half a day, since I'm still low on time off, and just do it all on the 27th and hope to gods they don't ruin my weekend. The plan is for that Monday to have everything around the house done and have a day to just...goof off. Ish. Honestly, as a writer, reading is important, and if I do any writing, well, that's not really goofing off. My point is: I plan for it to be a low-stress day for me.

Anyway, my little break time is over. Time to get back to house stuff.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] headtrip_honey, [profile] cosmic_kitten1, [profile] robinredpress, AND [profile] elvenjewel2012!!!


Comics will be suspended for the next few days while I'm away at a wedding.

Speaking of... I still have a shit-ton of stuff to do beforehand. Like, oh, packing. That sort of thing. Hell, I don't even know if I have a pair of dress pants that will fit.

Neighbor's daughter is pet-sitting, so, all good.

Still not crazy about going. Especially with my coccyx all inflamed. Yeah, looked it up, something about avoiding hard, narrow surfaces... Grrr. I think all the sitting on the floor, tense, contorted, and so on to pill and feed TomTom may have been the culprit. Not complaining, mind you; I'd do it all again in a heartbeat, even knowing the outcome. Though sitting on a church pew to aggravate my coccyx to satisfy people I don't really care about... Yeah.

Last night and indeed all of yesterday was quite uncomfortable. At the risk of tummy/esophagus issues, I took some ibuprofen and had an ice pack on my butt. Consequently, I got none of the stuff done that I wanted to get done, and why I am so behind today. On the bright side, my tailbone feels better today, but, I also don't want to push it.

Oh, and we got a really nice card with an exceptionally nice note from Lantana Vet yesterday. I liked how Dr. Lon wrote about TomTom: "He was cool." That damn little furball had such an effect on everyone he came into contact with.

Rocky is still being quite snuggly.

Anyway, I'd better get back to work on everything here...
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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] elionwyr!!

Okay, TomTom update... First off, I'm on an emotional roller coaster with him. As in, I'm wondering if he's really going to make it. He has a hard time keeping his eyes open, and he has no voice. Though when I looked up his meds, they can cause dizziness, which could explain why he's been a little stunade lately. I've been squirting food into him every now and then. I also think he's exhausted, largely because no matter what he does, he just plain can't get comfortable. But...he's still fairly alert. He can see and track the Red Dot. He still walks around the room. Also? Rocky is in here with us. All the hissing and growling is gone, and TomTom seems grateful for just the company.

TomTom, while still thin, is looking a little "beefier" from the syringe feeding. Gods I hope this all pans out...

In other news... I still have a shitload of stuff to do around here, but, at least my lunch stuff is all done and ready to go. And I've got a good start on laundry and a handle on everything else.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] greygirlbeast AND [profile] cookie_chef!!

What a day so far...

TomTom is home! He's doing well... I have him all set up here in my room with food, water, and litter. I need to make some sort of "bed" for him on ground level and keep him off my bed for awhile because he's got some "anal leakage" issues right now. And...he's got several prescriptions I have to stay on top of. Fortunately, only two weeks...

I told him his flexible "cone of shame" isn't a "cone of shame." It's a superkitty cape! I've also made the remark that he still has more guts than humans I know...

Rocky seemed glad to see TomTom, but now is hissing at him from beyond the door because he (TomTom) smells like vet. And I guess Rocky's not happy about being kept out of here.

Yoda is driving me nuts. He does the alarm noise, I give him fruit, and he throws it all away and does the alarm noise again. Why? He wants bananas, and he's pissed that we ran out yesterday or the day before and I haven't made a special trip for him. As is, I'm heading out in a little bit to get a haircut, and I'll probably swing by Path Mark for milk and bananas. Brat.

Anyway, I'm just glad to have TomTom home and on the mend, runny butt or no. I'll probably be doing some extra laundry, though...

Short stack of comics )
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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] awallens!!!

Feeling a little drained at the moment. Today was my appointment at the blood bank. Alas, I wasn't able to do the ALYX donation, since my hemoglobin was too low. It was great for whole blood donation, but not for them taking twice as many RBCs away. It could be allergies, or it could be asthma. In any event, I may try ALYX later. Maybe even over winter. In the meantime, whole blood donation is still pretty damn good, and I'll be donating again in July.

Since then, I've been getting some weekend chore stuff done and napping. Really feeling drained this time around. Probably still a little out of it from the severe GERD bout the other night. On the bright side, this is a lite chore weekend, so, hopefully, it'll be a nice, relaxing, recharging, restful weekend for me. Then again, the stepgoggies are here.

On a semi-related note... I'm reading Jackson Galaxy's book Cat Daddy. I've tried the "I Love You" blink with TomTom, but, so far, there's no reaction. Then again, he's pretty secure anyway, so... Yeah. Last night, he was sleeping on my head, as usual, and I touched his paw. In response, the purring went from "idling lawnmower" to "Saturn V rocket" and he insisted on licking my face. Not really a problem, except for the really bad fishy cat food breath. Oh well. Both Rocky and TomTom like that contact thing... Many times, I wake up and one of them has a paw resting lightly on my face or my hand.

My sister's cat, MiMi, used to crawl under the covers so she could snuggle under my chin. I still miss her, but, at least she opened a place in my sister's life for Lily.

You know... I really think the side project memoir of all the furkids I've had might stand a good chance for publication, all things considered. Gods know I have enough amusing stories of all the cats, dogs, and parrots, not to mention stories of their interactions together, from Yoda liking to ride on Boomer's head, to Nemo making Sugar psychotic with respect to squeaky toys, and back to Yoda for trying to teach the cats to say his name. Then I think about the times I lay on the couch and Yoda asks, "You okay there, bud?" Like he's going to do anything if I'm not okay. And the time TomTom and Rocky got me when Mom couldn't get up after her hip replacement. Or Rocky waking me up earlier this week when the house had no power, I had no alarm clock, and I needed to get to work.

When I hear stories of other peoples' pets performing similar intelligent acts of helpfulness and loyalty, I have to wonder if Human arrogance isn't actually a hindrance in our evaluation of these creatures' intelligence and awareness. One popular test they do on animals in general to disprove their self-awareness is to put them in front of a mirror and watch the animal either react to the image as a threat or whatever, but to not give any evidence that they recognize the image as themselves. And yet...four weeks ago, Bridgett and Brandon were on the steps, which have a mirror at the bottom, and they were at eye level of the mirror. They saw me coming in the mirror, then looked at me. Then they saw other movement and turned around to see TomTom at the top of the steps. In short, they were reacting to the reflection and understood that they saw the reflections of other actions and looked at the appropriate areas. I'm not sure if this has been replicated in a laboratory setting. Now, this doesn't quite go with the whole "mark them with lipstick and see if they try to wipe it off" thing, though (1) I see humans at Rocky Horror who don't remove the lipstick... Maybe these animals think that they're being marked in some sort of initiation like the kids going to RHPS. Maybe (2), given their lesser acuity, they don't really see the lipstick or they aren't familiar enough with their own reflection to know that something's different. I mean, honestly, we tend not to see certain zits right away or notice the formation of certain scars. In conclusion, I think the animals are fucking with us. Intentionally. So that they get spoiled with toys, food, and have the supposedly superior race fetch food for them, clean up their poop, pay for their food and health care, and show them off to their friends. A bit of an oversimplification? Perhaps. But the intelligence of cooperation, adaptability, routine, and so on is still there and higher than what people in general are aware of. Then again, I'm still convinced that the average person is an idiot.

Comics )
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HAPPY BIRFDAY[personal profile] angelamermaid!!

High-speed, low-budget entry...

Happy Pi Day!!

Had to take the day off and spent most of it sleeping after a kidney stone incident this morning. Grrr.

Oh, and the dental trip yesterday wasn't too bad. Except I have another cavity they need to fill (besides the one between my ears), so, I have to go back next week. At least it's just one this time.

Another good article by Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Partisan Politics Tainting NASA.

In the more bizarre and otherworldly, Wil Wheaton puts way too much time into validating spam mail he received. And...combined with the idea of Wesley Crusher: Teenage Fuck Machine... Yeah, I need to pick up some brain bleach now...

The Onion reports on Alien World to Help Out Syria Since This One Refuses To.

Tall stack o' comics )
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HAPPY BELATED BIRFDAY[profile] thumpermarni!!!

HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] lurkitty, [profile] layered_deep, [profile] jonbonjewvi, AND [personal profile] berthablue!!!


Anyway, it's been a busy weekend. Mandie's birfday get-together last night was nice. Good food and all. I'm grateful my sister and I are getting along much better these days. Between last night and today, I've been productive, what with laundry, lunch prep for the week, figuring things out, and so on. I think I know how to rearrange my computer area for better computer spill protection. Ultimately, it may also lead to a more spacious and comfortable work area.

Today (yesterday, actually), I put up what little of the outdoor lights we have and brought up the Christmas decorations. The outdoor lights are set up, but not plugged in. If we want to expand, that's great. But the initial bulk, such as it is, is done, and if it's dark and snowing and freezing, it's just a matter of pulling off the plastic bag and plugging in the setup. And the rest of the stuff is up, so, hopefully, with working on just a little bit here, a little bit there, I can actually enjoy the Christmas season rather than throwing everything up at the last minute, as has been the case for about the last decade. It would be nice to have the tree up and decorated for a week before Christmas and actually enjoy the lights and such.

Alas, my back is quite sore at the moment, though. Fortunately, I have a chiro appointment at the end of the week.

Got LOTS of reading done, too. I'm hoping to get my reading projects down to something a little more manageable. But I have lots of good books that have been on my shelves for a decade, plus trying to get some of the current/contemporary stuff read, plus all the stuff I've already bought for Kindle, plus holiday reading. I'm almost done Jim Butcher's Ghost Story (Dresden Files), and... It's great! I actually gave my sister the first three books of the series for her birfday and hope my anticipation of her enjoying the series, too, is on the mark. I love the pop cult references throughout, especially the Star Wars references. And the Princess Bride reference in Ghost Story was...great! I really hope Mr. Butcher plans more for this series...

I'm also reading Christopher L. Bennett's Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within. It's an e-novella, and it came out last month, but... Some of the stuff with the Unificationists and non-violent protests on the Kinshaya homeworld... Wow! This was written, I'm fairly certain, before the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the parallels aren't perfect, but, can we say, "socially relevant?" I'm only on chapter four, but, given the clashes between police and such, and the scene I just read in the story, I can't help but wonder if police presence and indeed police brutality are intentional to rouse the protesters to where they have to choose between well-being and self-defense, or defending the elderly or handicapped who may be being beaten, in order to make the non-violent civil disobedience into violent rebellion, which then allows the State to 1) use violent and eventually deadly force against protesters and 2) discourage assembly to protest with the excuse that it turns violent and hence turning free speech into something that is a danger to public safety, allowing an argument to exist that the right of peaceable assembly is not safe for democracy. Flawed, I know, and I'm perhaps expressing this inadequately and clumsily, but, something worth thinking about. And this bit (along with wishing my sister natal day felicitations) is why this entry is in the clear and hence able to show up on Networked Blogs on Facebook.

I still need to write my essay on Paine's "Common Sense" and applying it to events going on these days as I see it. I have my notes (thank gods), and when I glance at them, I can remember rather clearly what I intend to write about.

Of course, your mileage may vary (YMMV), and that's okay. If there's anything erupting here or on FB, just...keep it civil, no personal attacks, and agree to disagree.

Back to Mandie's birfday gathering... I have to say, I have party animals here. By that, I mean that TomTom was happy to see my sister and was very present throughout the evening, even settling down next to her while she opened presents and such. He seems to really like it when she visits. Rocky, of course, gets attention from everyone and has a tendency to try to beg food from Scott. And Yoda? Before dinner, he was acting up, so, he ended up in Time Out (cage covered, TV and lights off). Note: avians tend to be quiet when in the dark, thus not giving away their position to predators. Both with the Grey we had before, Nemo, and with the one we have now, Yoda, well, we have to throw that one out the window. While eating dinner, and later, while chatting in the living room, Yoda insisted on being part of the group, even though he was in Time Out in another room, by interjecting into conversations, making noises we had referred to, laughing, and so on. Like Nemo, Yoda gives very situationally-appropriate responses.

And people wonder why I'm unsurprised at animal intelligence. Fascinated, but unsurprised.

Anyway, time for a shower and then bed. I'm hoping my computer will be done tomorrow and I can get it back here and back up and running. That is, done later today. Whatever.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] crysania4, [profile] mere_bystander, AND [personal profile] herlander_refugee!!!

So... I woke up at a decent time this morning and was productive. Put new patches on my jeans (I cut the old patches to small), made my sandwiches for the week, and got some other odds and ends done. All that's left is to finish my iced tea and pack my thermoses for work tomorrow, and check in new comics and run the computers through maintenance and back ups and such. And... I'm running out of gas. Out of steam. Out of energy.

Ultimately, though, I guess I can't complain too much. The past week or so has been extremely productive, what with closing the pool, getting housework done, taking care of and working on other little projects... I'm hoping to finish laminating my bookmarkers this weekend or, at least, getting half of what's left done. With any luck, in two weeks, I'll be as productive with getting the Christmas stuff brought up and started. Again, the main objective is to work slowly and steadily so that 1) there's not a last-minute rush/panic like there has been for the last several years and 2) to actually enjoy Christmas instead of it feeling like a chore or a source of stress.

As is, in general, I'm starting to feel a little less frazzled. It'll take some time, but I'm feeling more and more convinced I will eventually get back to a state of somewhat calm and focus on reading and writing. And giving scritches to the kitty overlords.

Anyway, back to work...

Short stack o' comics )
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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] mobobocita!!

In other news, I'm fighting off a heat and humidity headache. Grrr.

[profile] lucylou has an image that summarizes the Harry Potter series, The SummHarry, that reminds me of a medieval tapestry, the name of which eludes me at the moment, but will probably come to me when I'm driving or have the runs or something...

Cracked.com gives 6 Pro-Gay Marriage Arguments for Fighting With Crazy People.

I don't know who this lady is, but I like her style... Get yer cock jokes ready! Now I want a giant chicken made out of metal drums. Keep snakes away from my cube at work. Not that I have snakes coming to my cubicle, but, you can never be too safe, you know?

Then in the video section...

Nathan Fillion delivers an important PSA

YouTube vlogger Meekakitty shares a Harry Potter-themed music video, "Wizard Love"

Now, I'll still put the Dork Tower comic in with the comics, but in relation to another Cracked.com article, the one about what we're doing to bring about Terminators (and Cylons), well, here's a screen cap showing an advertisement for the U.S. Air Force...

Yes, show a picture of a drone that lately we've started to arm and have been known to lose control of, and then put in a tag line about how it's "not just science fiction." Oh, and we're teaching it to think for itself and how to identify other air craft and shoot them down...


Caturday Comics (with Juicy Commentary!) )
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January 2015


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