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Dum & Dee status 2

OK, the Tweedle twins arrived on Tuesday evening.  I left them in the cat carrier in the bathroom, with food, running water (filtered cat "fountain), and a litter box with them.  At some point, Dee (the girlcat) moved to behind the toilet, and Dum scrunched under the blanket in the carrier.  About four hours later, I pulled Dum from the carrier, attempted to cuddle him a bit, then let him loose again. He ended up behind the bathroom door, squeezed in with Dee behind the toilet, and behind the shower curtain in the tub.

On Wednesday, I tried pulling each of them out, showed them the sunny place in "their" bedroom, and tried to cuddle them again.  Dee ended up behind the desk, and Dum behind the closet door.

On Wednesday about noon, I attempted a bit of cuddle time with Dum, and he was clearly reluctant.  I put him into the hallway to see whether he would choose the bathroom or the cat-room.  Neither -- he headed downstairs.  I don't know if he ended up under something in the living room, or in the basement.  Probably the basement.  Moria says that her cat is very twitchy near the TV area in the basement.

No sign of Dum since Wednesday.

Late Thursday evening, I could hear Dee meowing quietly.  I pulled her from behind the toilet and attempted some cuddle time.  On the way to my bedroom, I tripped.  She ended up landing cleanly on the bed, though I got a nice scratch through one nipple.  After that, she headed downstairs.  I backed off so she could have room to return to the cat room or the bathroom, but she didn't.  

So, it's now approaching three days.  Neither of them has eaten anything or used the cat box (though if Dum used the basement cat's box, we wouldn't know).  I can't tell if they drank anything.  They have now found less obvious hiding places so I can't disturb them further.  From here, I guess it's a waiting game.

The "pound rescue" operation ends up with a rather large collection of cats and dogs.  The person who handed these two off to us fosters about fifteen as well as works for a living.  So they don't get much human interaction.  Sigh.

Dum & Dee status 1

I was going to post a status update to the Tweedle twins, but realized that I never put up the first post here.  For someone who claims journals make more sense than facebook, I should pummel myself.  Anyhow, here is the first post again.

Tweedle Dum - 9 month maleTweedle Dee - 9 month female

I don't know how long they keep this page up.
21 years ago, after we broke up, Moria (then named Patricia) gave me a
cat for my birthday so I wouldn't be lonely.  That cat made it until
late in 2010.
So this year, she has given me two cats for my birthday.  Is this a
hint that we're about to break up?
Is it abuse to call the boycat "Dum"?  That's the name that the rescue
foster gave him.  Well, sort'a.
In the pictures, the pink nose is on the boy, and the black nose is on
the girl.  
The boy hasn't left the carry box yet.  The girl is off exploring
somewhere -- I didn't see her leave, and don't know where she is.  I'm
going to let them find me on their own time.
I used to own a mind like a steel trap.
Perhaps if I'd specified a brass one, it
wouldn't have rusted like this.
A friend was asking about my new eBook reader device, and I went on and on till her eyes glazed over.  I was going to send her an email with the rest of my eye-glaze, but decided I might want to send it to more than one person.  Then I was thinking of putting it onto my website, but that's a pain.  Musings should be published in my journal, so it makes the most sense to put it here.

In the beginning was the word and...  OK, we'll skip that generation.

Generation #0 of books - page
  • Size: 1 page
  • Medium:  Clay tablet or woven papyrus or strips of bamboo tied together or scraped sheepskin (vellum) or wax-coated wood.
  • Copying: Always hard (handwritten)
  • Date:  4000 BC to 500 BC
First generation of books - Scroll
  • Size:  up to 30 pages, maybe 50
  • Medium: Vellum?  Early paper?  Woven papyrus?  Silk?  Rolled for storage, and current section unrolled to read
  • Copying: Always hard (handwritten)
  • Date: 500 BC to 1200 AD?
  • Example:  Each "book" of the bible.  We think of "the book" as the whole bible, but that era thought of each scroll as a book.
Second generation of books --- Codex (official name for edge-bound book as we think of a "book")
  • 30 to 4000 pages
  • Medium: usually paper.  (mashed wood or linen, "screened" dry and "sized" with clay or starch to make it smoother.)
  • Copying:  Before Gutenberg, hard.  After Gutenberg, easy at time of printing, hard later.
Current generation of books -- Library.  People own a collection of books, in ever-easier to carry formats
  • a few to very many books
  • Medium:  flash RAM in e-readers; flash ram in smartphones; "cloud" storage in dropbox or publisher or elsewhere.
  • Copying:  trivial.  Indeed for "cloud" storage, copying becomes almost irrelevant.
Livejournal offered to let me continue writing this post when I went to make today's post.  I can't remember when I wrote it, but it talks about my "new" e-reader which I got early for my birthday in March of 2011. It was aimed at one of my tutoring students, so it couldn't have been after mid-April.  Does LJ keep saved draft postings forever?

Quote of the day: Egypt.

Quote of the day:
"Middle Eastern tyrannies aren’t falling the way George W. Bush predicted. America isn’t the hammer; if anything, we’re the anvil. But Bush’s argument that Middle Eastern democracy could help drain the ideological swamp in which al Qaeda grew may yet be proved true. Osama bin Laden has never looked more irrelevant than he does this week, as tens of thousands march across the Middle East not for jihad, but for democracy, electricity, and a decent job. It’s a time for hope, not fear. America can survive having less control, as long as the Arab people have more."

by Peter Beinart in Daily Beast

Writer's Block: The name game

What's the origin of your username? If you could change it to anything else, would you, and what would it be?

Livejournal user name?  In 1992, my part-time employer (full-time from 1995 to 2003) assigned me a userid of last name, first initial.  I was lucky.  The guy I took over several systems from was Tom Kinoshita.  If your last name is more than 7 letters, you get the choice of either eight letters from last name, or seven letters plus first initial -- either way he got a lousy userid.

Anyhow, when the Web started rising two years later, I chose to use last name first initial pretty much everywhere.  I treat the web as a "real name" environment.  Previously, I'd used "Purple Magician" (satire book reference) for BBSs in the eighties, and Oreo Pasquale (complex story ending with a claim that my body weight was 48% DQ blizzard) from about 92 to 95.  When I rejoined the dating world from 2006 thru 2008, I used "Taurid", a pun combining my stubborn sun-sign with the sound of "torrid".  Taurid has been pretty much idled since the end of 2008.

So I'm Only 60% Pervert

David J. Martin wrote:

>Greg Goss  wrote:
>> Opus the Penguin wrote:
>> >http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnIqLlBwzrc
>> >
>> >Go about 30 seconds in. She is not singing "Later we'll have some
>> >PUMPKIN pie". I don't care what the lyrics say. She clearly sings
>> >f-in' pie. Listen if you don't believe me.
>> That's a weird one. On any given listen it's absolutely clear. But
>> it isn't consistent. On three listens out of five, it was clearly F.
>> On two listens, including the first one, it was clearly Pumpkin.
>Apparently you are only 60% filthy pervert.

Koran Burning

CJ: 1990 - 2010

 CJ 2008

When I was moving in with Wendy in 1996, I took an extra month and a half rent at my old place so I could move over in a relaxed manner. At one point, she asked me "if half of your stuff is over there and half is over here, then where's home?" My instant answer was "Home is where the cat is." I used the same line during the move to Surrey and on the long drive to Toronto (CJ was "airmailed" two weeks later).

So now I'm homeless.

In 1992, I broke up with a girlfriend. On my next birthday she brought me a cat, so I wouldn't have to be alone. A mutual friend had been probing me, asking what kind of cat I might want if I ever got another cat. Solid colour, not a couch potato, someone with personality. That was passed on to Moria who spent the next few weeks picking out just the right shelter rescue for her ex BF.

CJ was with me for one entire marriage and into the next -- with the same person who dropped CG at my door more than eighteen years ago.

The shelter vet where the cat was picked up from estimated her age at 18 months, so I backdated her birthday to November 11, 1990 -- a day I could "remember". The formula I use for cat ages is "First year is worth twelve; second year is worth 8, then four years per year." So, 19.83 years comes out to 91 and a third in human years.

CJ never got along with other cats. I had someone stay with me in 94 for six weeks with a cat and a dog. CJ would attack Eva's cat, lose the fight and retreat, attack again, lose again and retreat. Again and again, till she only owned half of my bedroom. Eva's dog was OK to hang out with until the dog figured out that my cat had sworn warfare on her "sister", and was forced to pick sides.

Wendy's two cats never got along with CJ. Our apartment in North Van was divided up into spaces owned by CJ and spaces owned by Wendy's cats, with a few battlegrounds in the middle. Wendy's favourite cat followed her within a week, and the other one in 2007.

Two and a half years later, Moria moved in with me ... with the cat she had given me fifteen years earlier.

CJ has mostly been an indoors cat. When I first moved in with Wendy, she had access to the tiny space we called a yard. She would jump onto the fence and watch the greater universe, but would never jump down on the other side. In Toronto, our outdoor space was barely larger than a small closet, but we put mesh over the gate and she had an outdoor space. The rental duplex where we stayed while looking for a place in Calgary had an enclosed yard, and CJ had the run of it. But she was never an outdoor cat with a free run. The vet thinks that has a lot to do with her making it to nearly 20.

CJ has been on a thyroid blocker since 2008. At that time, I didn't think she would make it through July. The transdermal rebalanced her metabolic rate for more than two years. Two weeks ago, she started suffering from diarrhea. On Thursday, we thought that had been fixed, then she stopped eating and drinking and rapidly went downhill. There just weren't enough reserves left at her age. By noon today she was barely walking, and by six she wasn't. My vet closed at 6 on Fridays rather than the eight she's open the rest of the week, so we came home, and decided to let CJ pass in her sleep. But about 10, she started complaining and clawing weakly at something I couldn't see. So we took her to a 24 hour vet where the doctor advised "the needle".

More than eighteen years. It's a long time.

Computer for Elementary School.

I used to have a protege on "The Island".  We were very close for a few years after her son was born, and she named me the godfather to her kid. Along the way (2003) , her parents (the grandparents of the son) concluded (wrongly) that I had given the protege bad advice and cut off all contact with me.  A couple of years later in 2005, she stopped talking to me, too.  But the father of the kid kept in contact, and I still talk to him monthly or so, and visit once a year.

During my last visit, the father admired the computer I had just purchased (very used) for $100 and told me to keep an eye out for a suitable computer for his son.  Apparently the son will need a laptop computer for school (grade 1 or 2?) in September.  The father knows nothing about computers (bought a 2001 generation computer that turned out to be defective).  The son is reasonably familiar with his net-enabled game machine and knows a bit about basic web searches.

Anyhow, I have no idea what kind of computer his school will want for the fall.  I picked up a second $100 6-year-old laptop, but my wife wants to keep it as a spare -- her laptop has been flakey lately.

So, what is better for an elementary school student?  A used full-service laptop such as the one I'm on now (13"  1300x800 screen, XP, at least 1 GB RAM, at least 40 GB drive) occasionally available for $100, or an XP netbook (1024x600, 9 or 10 inch screen, 1GB RAM, 40+ GB drive), or a flash-drive netbook (specs unknown, probably an 8GB or 16GB drive).

I'm thinking of recommending Tiger Direct's Asus EEE at $240 or $299 (two chioces).  I like my Acer XP netbook, but the 600 pixel screen is limiting on some web work.  The price is right, for a machine with 1 GB of RAM and 160 GB of drive and XP for $240.  He's hoping to get one for $100, but I'm not sure a five or six year old computer at $100 is really all that much cheaper than a new one with warranty at $240.