Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Weekends

The weekends are always rough for me. I have plenty of time to write up a post, but I rarely feel like doing so. The reason? My weekends aren't very inspiring for me. I get a lot of work done, which is a good thing, but I don't really get to relax or go out and have some fun. Y'know, like most people do. Instead, I stay in my room all weekend, except for a walk to the grocery store.

That said, last weekend Randy called me up and we went out for dinner at the local Rock Bottom Brewery. That was a nice change of pace and we had a good conversation before heading home again.

As for other things, Julia continues to take care of our cat. She's a bit better, but still not so much so that we can let her out of the bathroom. She is, however, being very affectionate to Julia, which is a big change.

My big news in the last couple of weeks is that I managed to get a second monitor for my computer. I'm still pretty excited about that. It was free, too, because work was "decommissioning" it. Something they do from time to time with their older monitors. I have it turned sideways so I can use it for reading PDFs and other full-page documents and I love it.

This next weekend I get to head back to Seattle for another four-day visit. It's so much nicer to go for that extra day; four days instead of three feels so much longer for some reason.

The news that concerns me most in the past week is that Dad had a couple of minor strokes in the middle of the night a few days ago. He went to the emergency room in the early morning and after a bunch of tests told him what had happened, but that he was really quite healthy. They gave him some medicines to take, which will hopefully forestall any future problems. They told him that for being 71 he was in really good shape and shouldn't change whatever it is he's doing. So that's good. Anyway, I hope he doesn't go through anything like that again any time soon.

Time to watch a movie, read some comics, and hit the sack.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

One Sad Kitty

Our cats went to the vet a while ago and we learned they both have (hopefully had, now) Bartonella, which is commonly called Cat Scratch Disease. It's called that because if a human is scratched or bitten by a car with the disease it can cause a nasty welt that can become infected and make you pretty sick. For the cat however, it's a bigger problem because it can cause all sorts of physical problems and even lead to death. It was a good thing they went to the vet.

The problem is, Coco, which I think of as our "older" cat even though she and Babby are sisters, is very sensitive and a bit of a scaredy cat. She was very unhappy about the three-week course of drugs we had to force her to take and took to hiding from us most of the time. I think the medicine also made her feel pretty icky, so she mostly kept away from us and was a bit gun shy.

When she no longer had to take the medicine we figured she'd get better and go back to being the sweet cat she normally is, but that hasn't been the case. In fact, she's much worse. She's taken to hiding around the house, sitting like a little cat loaf, wide- and wild-eyed in apparent fear for her life. She won't eat or drink unless the food is directly under her nose -- and I mean that literally, if the food is a foot away from her she won't move to eat. She's had a number of accidents around the house because she's so terrified, which isn't so bad and we've been lucky they haven't been in really bad places.

We are, of course, more than a little concerned. She's such a sweetheart normally and it really pains us to see her in so much fear and mental pain. We're trying to make her comfortable, control her environment, so we can keep track of how much she's eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom -- and we bought a diffuser that releases a chemical that's supposed to make cats feel safer and more comfortable (a synthetic version of the chemical they excrete when they cheek comb things). We've only had that for a day now and it seems to be helping since she's not quite as wild-eyed.

We really hope she recovers soon. Apparently this sort of thing isn't uncommon for cats, but this is such a huge change in her personality we're very concerned for her. I can't imagine how unfun it must be to be terrified all the time. So terrified you don't trust anyone, don't want to move, eat, or pretty much anything else. How awful would that be?

We just want her to be better, so hopefully the things we're doing will actually help her. I'll keep you updated.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Another Visit Home

Last weekend I went home for an extended stay. Okay, it was only a single extra day, but Julia and I have found it really makes a difference. Taking Monday off and flying back Tuesday seems to give us enough time to both get things done and relax -- now I just have to figure out how to do those things plus see some friends. I haven't had any real quality time with my friends for, well, about a year and a half. Ugh.

Since they redesigned the San Jose airport, I've had to leave a bit earlier than before, which means I arrive in Seattle early enough to have dinner with the little lady. This month, like the last couple, we stopped at Genki Sushi in Renton. I'd ordered an anniversary cake from Jen and she was nice enough to drive down to visit with us and visit for a few minutes. I'd told Julia about it ahead of time, just so the handoff was easier -- she loved the sentiment, loved the cake, and loved telling her family about it later in the weekend.

Friday we were up early to meet Julia's mom to buy me some new clothes -- for the interview I had the following Monday along with a few other shirts and such. Then Julia and I ran a couple of other errands and picked up the makings of a compost bin we'd planned to build this weekend. That went very well, actually, and I managed to dig the holes, plant the posts, wind the chicken wire around it, and staple it into place in about two hours that afternoon. Here are the end results!

The posts are just in dirt, so they're not super sturdy, but they're buried about a foot deep and don't have to stand up to too much abuse, so they should be good. It's hard to tell from this image, but the bin on the left is the "raw" compost (hidden under some loose dirt we threw in there) and the bin on the right is pretty much all dirt (except for a pretty beat up cardboard box that I threw in on Julia's say so). Over the course of the weekend we added a bunch of coffee grounds we picked up from Starbucks. The biggest thing we need to find for these is dead leaves. We don't have a lot of mature trees in the area, so they're hard to come by, but necessary for good compost. Anyway, we were very pleased with how these turned out.

Saturday was Julia's family reunion, which was held at her parents' place. We arrived around ten-ish for a late breakfast and stayed most of the day. We talked to everyone, celebrated birthday for me and an uncle, then celebrated anniversaries for Julia and I and an aunt and uncle. We played with the kids a lot, too, which was fun, made s'mores, and generally socialized.

Sunday we must have worked in the garden, because the only thing I can remember specifically doing Sunday is going to eat at a bar in downtown Renton called "A Terrible Beauty." It's an English pub-style place and it had some very tasty food for us. Yeah, we must have worked in the yard. I'm pretty sure I mowed the lawn Sunday, too. (I saw quite a few grasshoppers and little frogs in the grass, too!)

Monday was my birthday, but I had an interview to go to at 10 o'clock, so I was up, dressed, fed, and out the door relatively quickly so I could make it over to the foot of Lake Union for my appointment. That went well, but I heard a couple of days later that they decided to hold off on filling the position for a few months at least. They did, however, really like me and will contact me if and when that position opens up. As for the rest of the day, we ran some errands, cleaned up, and relaxed. Oh, I also think I broke our vacuum, so next time I'm home I have to open it up and fix it.

There you go! A long post about my birthday weekend -- and anniversary weekend, since that was July 26th.

Hopefully I'll have some more things to write about soon. But really, after that compost bin thing, I mean, how can I top that?