Early Morning Ramblings.

It's been way too long since I've updated this, having succumbed to the evils of Facebook. However, being that it's rather early in the morning, I'm not quite up to writing a fully coherent update of things. I'll probably just say a few things about the last few months in rambling passages.

It turned out that Cauchy had intestinal lymphosarcoma. He held on until around Christmas/New Year's, until it got to the point where we had to put him to sleep. One of the outside cats was hit by a car. They're both buried around the same tree as those four premature kittens we tried to take care of, and the one cat that died under the house.

There's now a new outside cat that's been hanging around. The only cat left of the original three had been named "Haus" by some of the neighbors. In keeping with that, Alora has named the new cat "Shed Kitty" to go along with the "House Kitty." :)

We adopted a cat from Kim's mom named "Toughie." He's a butthead of a cat, but may be mellowing a bit (that, or he's finally gotten too frightened of me and the can of compressed air to attack me every time he sees me). Alora likes him, but she still frequently mentions how much she misses Cauchy. I don't blame her in the least, and part of me has strong doubts we'll ever meet another cat even halfway as awesome as he was.

Alora recently had her fourth birthday, and thanks to her, we've started watching movies at the theater again. (Still not very frequently... we've still only seen The Princess and the Frog, Alice in Wonderland and How to Train Your Dragon since she was born. She's figured out how to send me IM messages from Kim's computer whenever Kim has the computer on and has left Trillian running. The messages are still pretty simple, but it makes me happy to see them pop up when I'm at work. Lots of emoticons selected by mouse from the list, along with "i love you" "i miss you" "daddy" "mommy" "alora" "hi", and so on. What she can spell, she spells a lot better than most of the students I taught!

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My dad's mother also passed away in the last couple of months, but it didn't have a whole lot of impact here. She pretty much hated my mother, and I'm sure that extended to my brother and I. Didn't even care to understand that, unlike with her favorite of the grandkids, Kim and I weren't married because of getting knocked up just after high school. She'd certainly argue that point to hell and back.

The doctors believe my mother's getting Alzheimer's. She's been taking Aricept, and seems to be a lot more coherent overall, but she's no longer able to drive. She's been having some motor skill issues, too, which is a bit worrying, since her mother had Parkinson's.

Cauchy's at the Vet.

Kim took Cauchy to the vet yesterday, since he's been sick a few days and not getting any better. They had to keep him overnight and will be keeping him tonight, too. It turns out that he's got a urinary tract infection and the first stages of kidney failure, but fortunately it was caught in the very earliest stages. He'll have to go on a special diet, and maybe take medicine from now on (I didn't hear the vet's side of Kim's phone call this morning, and missed the earlier part of Kim's side, too.), but he should be mostly ok.

Alora's extremely upset, since he is most definitely her kitty, and it hurts to see and hear her cry that he's having to stay at the vet.
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Marketing Win.

Our head marketing guy rocks. There was an agricultural technology show up in Illinois (AgInfo, I think), and most of the attendants were staying at the same hotel (I believe the show organizers had a deal with them).

He called the hotel up and asked if it was possible to have ads printed on those hotel key cards. The hotel said they didn't make the cards, but they gave him a reference to the company that did.

So, he called the card manufacturer up and got SST logos printed on a bunch of cards, and had them sent to the hotel. The John Deere guys and all our other competitors had to use SST-branded key cards to get into their rooms (and potential customers, too, of course). :)
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'Bout Time I Update.

I've succumbed to the evils of Facebook and have posting teeny little updates there and completely neglecting Livejournal. It certainly doesn't help that daytime tends to be the trough of my energy/awareness cycle, leading to detailed updates being far too difficult compared to the wall snippets of Facebook. Eloquence is just flat out impossible.

I still block every quiz (and a couple of people whose quiz to comment ratio was ten or more) that pops up on Facebook, and wish there was a "block every quiz app" option somewhere. They're the modern-day replacement for astrology.

The stars say that you have interests. "Oooh, that is so me!"

You are Hermione from the Harry Potter series of books. "Hell, yeah, that is totally right!"

I'm still having issues keeping track of the passage of seasons, but at least I know we're in the too damn hot season in Oklahoma. About four to six weeks ago, one of the neighborhood cats that we fed went missing. A week later, we found him dead under the house after the smell had begun to seep through the flooring and flies began to cluster around the hatch leading under the house. Getting partway under the house to retrieve the cat was a very unpleasant event.

Maybe a week or two after that, we had a very fast and very powerful storm form and blow through, dropping hail stones approaching the size of baseballs. The hailstones blew out the back window of our car and the back window of the car parked right next to ours. A few other people at work just got windshield cracking.

Alora's been writing her name and a few simple, common words like "cat," and "stop," fairly legibly. I'm not sure how many more she recognizes, but she's got "cars" down as I learned while waiting at the bank that handles our car payments. "See that word right there? C-A-R-S..." "Cars!" she yells.

Kim says she's picking up even more of my mannerisms and literal nature. She has a set of water-erasable markers and some Disney fairy outlines to color in. She kept saying, "The instructions say to color her dress green, then color it blue." We weren't sure where she got that until we looked at the back of the box where it showed a demonstration of the erasable nature of the markers. Sure enough, they had colored Tinkerbell's dress green in one panel, showed it being erased in the second, and finally colored it blue in the third. She still has a bit of trouble with coloring within the outlines, but she's developing a bit more control.

She also has an amazing memory, recognizing what episodes of her favorite shows are on from just the title screen or intro. She can tell you that "this is the one where Sandy gets fleas!" before the episode title is off the screen and the episode has actually started. My mom talks about my memory being like that when I was that young, and I certainly wish it was still that way.

I took a bit of skin off my thumb while mowing Friday, and I'm not sure how I did it, or why I didn't feel it until I was done mowing. I can only guess that it had something to do with the vibration of the mower and the 102 temperature (before heat index!) being more potent sensations that skin ripping. A rainy day would be wonderful, as long as it didn't come with hail.


We finally found something that Alora likes even more than Spongebob. She absolutely loves Bolt. (And Rhino, who is funny to her merely by virtue of being inside a ball.)

As she puts it, "Bolt is a movie with a kitty, a doggie, a girl, a hamster in a ball and a bad guy."

Technically, the quality of the disc is fairly nice, but it just doesn't seem to look as crisp and vivid as Wall-E or Kung Fu Panda.

That Sneaky Little Critter!

I asked Kim to post about this, but it seems she forgot.

Alora picks up the funniest patterns of speech from television (and I assume from Kim's mom and siblings). A few days ago, she was yelling at Kim to come get a spider that was on one of her toys. Kim trapped it in a clear plastic cup, and Alora said, "Let me see that little critter!" Upon looking at the spider she declares, "That's one sneaky little critter!"
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Overdue Update.

My wrist's pretty much better now, but my right side's been sore (I assume from overcompensating for the left). I've been diverted from rewriting the records UI at work to do some more maps UI stuff requested by THE big bad customer of ours. It also turns out that what I thought was an issue with the .NET Garbage Collector might actually be something on our side.

A welcome change, given that it should be a relatively easy fix. The last time we found a problem with .NET, it took around a week and a half to get a workaround in place... and I'm still baffled as to exactly how the workaround works. (Let alone why in the world .NET was conveniently forgetting that the DataSet structures were children of a UI form and *NOT* root objects in their own right--which lead to them never being garbage collected, despite our calls of Dispose(), setting to null, and even Dispose() on the form they [should have] belonged to.)

I've apparently been working with Visual Studio too much. I'm trying to Ctrl+Shift+S to save my work on this post.

I started playing WoW again, after probably a month and a half to two months off, and finally went back after close to two years and beat the Skyshatter race. I can't easily think of any portion of any other video game that presented as much difficulty (made even more so by the relative bugginess of the race--when I had originally attempted it, Skyshatter wouldn't stun himself with the meteors he launches). It's definitely the hardest solo achievement I've come across (and my main has the "Salty" title, is server-first Grandmaster Fishing, and has earned the achievements for all three of the timed mounted quests [Blade's Edge Bomberman, Bombs Away, and Rapid Defense.]) Anyway, it felt really, really good to finally complete that. (And I soooo wish I had Crusader Aura or a druid's flight form to help with it.)

Alora's getting a playset in sometime in the next few days, but we'll still have to go buy some support beams to get it completely put together.
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Rear-ended Tuesday. Sprained wrist, so typing is slowed--not supposed to use left hand. Hand swollen pretty bad--sore up to elbow. Car's mostly ok, repairs should be minimal. Allstate (other person's insurance) took liability, so we're good. (They're so much better to deal with than the bastards at State Farm.)

Had some really bad fires on both sides of town lately. Went through boss's fields, but didn't get his house. Was worried they'd spread to work (category 1 hurricane-level sustained winds blowing towards work), but they didn't. Highway 51 was closed both east and west of town. And in Tulsa, just about an hour away was golfball-sized hail. Crazy.
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Great Series.

Finally finished watching all of the Deathnote episodes tonight (aside from the two recap episodes after the end of the main series). Great series. Absolutely great series.

Kim's out of town at her mom's with Alora, and they'll be going to the ren faire in Norman in the morning. Kim will be taking pics of the pirate costume she made for Alora, so I need to remember to post a couple and send some to my parents.

Still Hoarse.

Lovely. I'm still hoarse.

On the bright side, it appears that Larry Hama is writing G.I.Joe comics again (and probably has been for a while, but I've been ignoring the comics section--they're too stupidly overpriced and really don't need to be made on such high-quality paper and ink until collected into novel format). The dark lining to that rainbow is that I failed to resist the urge to pick up the G.I.Joe comics at Hastings.
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