Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Our Eating Habits!

Jasper here, with a quick post about food! I will refrain from making any extraneous commentary on the current state of affairs, and simply present the evidence!

I believe you can see for yourself in the time-lapse footage below that one of us always eats conservatively, leaving some food in the bowl for later. However, someone else has the rather disagreeable habit of always devouring every last scrap on his plate:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAiH6b1jkp4

All I'm saying is, if starvation ever occurs, it will not be my fault. So there!

Jasper

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

1,772 miles

Last week, D and I drove down to the San Francisco bay area for the Game Control Summit and to see friends. We saw quite a few people at the GC Summit, but also did our best to squeeze in other visits--which is how we ended up having breakfast, dessert, tea, and dinner, pretty much one right after the other, on Saturday.

We went to opening night of Foothill College's production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which is a great show, and made even more hilarious by my fellow Richter Scale David Mister, who plays William Barfée; had lunch with Pauline and Brian, who just got engaged (she ran a birthday/proposal treasure hunt for him, natch); and I got in-person critiques from various "beta readers" on my novel manuscript.

Finally, on our way home, we stopped at Bubbling Well Pet Memorial Park in Napa to scatter Bayla's ashes. That was the reason we drove instead of flying. I'm glad we did it. Bubbling Well is the same place where Amber was laid to rest, and now our girls are together again.

CKL

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Monday, February 08, 2010

I am a LOLcat!



Think you can come up with a better caption for this photograph? I dare you!

Jasper

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Quarantine Has Been Lifted

That's the good news. Tye's gums are still a little red, so he'll continue to take antibiotics for a couple more weeks, but he gets to wander around the whole house now. So this is the last you'll see of the TyeCam for a while--hopefully forever. (Other cat-related videos may appear later. No promises.)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deZLFfhiWHo

The bad news is, Tye is a bit too, shall we say, forward for Jasper's taste. Tye very enthusiastically jumps on Jasper and wants to play, when Jasper would prefer to take things a little more slowly.

All things considered, this isn't a huge problem. We had always intended to keep their territories separated at first, and introduce them to each other gradually. It's just turning out to be slightly more challenging than we anticipated.

CKL

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

One Day More!

Tomorrow! It's almost here! The day Tye goes back to the vet and then we find out if he can come out of quarantine! I'm very hopeful! I haven't seen it myself, but I hear his gums are much improved! And he sure seems a lot more energetic than he was just a few days ago:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdgs5j8fA6M

I can't wait! Of course, it would mean the end of TyeCam, which I'm sure you'll all miss terribly. But just deal with it, folks: The needs of the Jasper outweigh the needs of the you!

And now, here is another YouTube video for you to watch.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3ijYVyhnn0

Jasper

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Workarounds, Hacks, and Pillows

We didn't go out today, which meant we were able to spend more time sitting with Tye, so I didn't turn on the webcam until later in the evening:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMDrNj56OP0

That little red netbook on the counter is the new TyeCam station. I'm also trying out Copilot, which lets me access it remotely.

CKL

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Return of the TyeCam!

He's still in the bathroom! Still! How much longer? I don't know if I can stand waiting any more! When can he come out? When? Did you say Friday? Maybe Friday? AUGH! What are you people trying to do to me? This is torture! Cruel and unusual! I protest!

...hey, look! Grass! nom nom nom

What was I saying?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScDiW-O5gwU

Jasper

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kitty Quarantine, Day Nine

When we first brought Tye home last Thursday night, we put him in the guest bathroom so we could gradually introduce him without threatening Jasper's territory. Turns out that was a good idea, because we've had to keep him isolated due to a viral infection.

We (mostly DeeAnn) have been doing our best to keep him company in there--sitting with him once or twice a day while we read, work, nap, or play cards. He was bottle-raised by humans from one day after birth, and we don't want him to get too lonely.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJTlOIkap-g

The fentanyl patch comes off Tye's leg on Monday afternoon, and at that time we'll also ask the vet when we can think about letting him out of quarantine. He and Jasper have been very curious about each other, especially during the brief times when we crack open the bathroom door.

Aside: If you notice some gaps in the time-lapse video, it's because Dorgem periodically locks up, crashes, or has trouble uploading images to TyeCam. Hey, it's free software, and hasn't been updated since 2005; you get what you pay for. But close enough for rock 'n' roll, I say.

CKL

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Stir crazy!

Jasper here! I'm happy to report Tye was feeling much better today (Friday)! You can clearly see that he's more active than previously:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gw_Kbv_G0es

Also, he seems to have found a new favorite sleeping location on the laptop computer, and developed some sort of grudge against the kleenex box.

Eagle-eyed viewers will note that he's managed to chew free two of his toes from the pink bandage on his leg! Let's see if the wrapping survives until he goes back to the vet on Monday!

Jasper

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Gathering Data

Tye is definitely more active now than he was a few days ago, before the painkillers and antibiotics. Watch him take down a box of Trader Joe's facial tissues at 1:38...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZPgGIJKVnA

And yes, he is chewing on his bandaged foot an awful lot. But the fentanyl patch is coming off on Monday anyway. We think it'll hold until then. If not, well, we've got the vet on speed-dial.

I should take a moment to mention that our cats go to the Feline Medical Clinic in Vancouver, Washington. We've received uniformly excellent care and attention from their doctors and staff, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone in the area.

CKL

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Perhaps I will call him PINKY!

Of course, if Tye is PINKY, that would make me THE BRAIN, which is an inappropriate metaphor since I have no designs on world domination! Yet! As far as you know! Perhaps I've said too much.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pAub9C5ilk

The pink bandage you see on Tye's foot is his souvenir from a day spent at the vet: apparently, his mouth was bothering him so much, the doctors wanted to keep him for a few hours to make sure it wasn't something more serious than an upper respiratory infection or bad teeth! (I know about bad teeth. I once had to have several of mine removed! But that's another story.) They didn't find an object lodged in his throat or anything like that, so he just needs to take antibiotics for a few days, starting tomorrow.

Don't feel too sorry for him though! That patch on his foot is dispensing fentanyl, which is about a hundred times more potent than morphine. He's probably flying pretty high by now! Sweet dreams, kid!

Jasper

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We'll Call It CAT-HOUSE... Wait, No

We don't have cable, so I have no idea if Animal Planet or National Geographic or one of the hundreds of Discovery channels already airs some kind of "medical detective" series featuring veterinarians. But if not, they should.

After doing some web research, DeeAnn suspects that feline calicivirus (FCV) may be the source of Tye's troubles. His gums are still red (though slightly better than yesterday), and he cries out in pain when he bites down on something. He's also been sneezing and drooling a little.

DeeAnn thinks Tye was more lethargic today, but her napping with him may have influenced that:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwZcZ2D5kac

He's going back to the vet at 10:00 AM. If nothing else, we're hoping they can prescribe something for the pain. TyeCam will resume broadcasting in the afternoon.

CKL

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's like a sauna in there!

The humans have decided that it's okay for me to inspect Tye's temporary habitat from time to time! (The contagion is not airborne, so as long as I stay out of licking distance, I should be fine!)

So I ventured inside several times yesterday! His digs are more than adequate, especially considering that he's got the old brown-carpet perch and the green carrier from last year's road trip. He's certainly not shy about climbing everywhere:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9brB18KbR44

Please note that it's not really that hot in the bathroom! I mean, it is warmer than the rest of the house, which is okay because we cats like it hot. But the thermometer on the clock was reading high because it was parked next to the laptop heating vent all morning! Oops! All I can say is, it's not my fault.

Jasper

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Monday, January 11, 2010

A Day in the Life of Tye

Well, about ten hours, anyway:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6eScVuqTgE

He's still in quarantine until his anti-virals kick in. That's me checking his gums for redness at 0:57. Any big time gaps are probably when he's sleeping in the sink, off-screen.

ObGeek: I'm using Dorgem to capture still images (every 15 seconds when the webcam sees motion) and Picasa to create the time-lapse videos.

The live TyeCam will return tomorrow morning.

CKL

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

TyeCam!

I am of two minds about our new kitty! On one hand, I am definitely looking forward to having a friend to keep me company when the humans are out of the house! On the other hand, our interactions so far have been limited to me sniffing him through the bathroom door and him yelling and sticking his paws under the door and smacking me in the face. Not cool!

But he's stuck in that one room for the next few days (until his viral infection clears up), and I still have the run of the house and get to sleep with the humans. So there! Plus, through the magic of technology, we can all keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn't get into too much trouble. Here's what he did tonight while the humans were out and about:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C4MioUUjfM

Cambot is currently off-line--there's not much to see with a black cat in the dark--but you'll be able to view more of the live TyeCam again tomorrow! (We were also calling it QuarantineCam, but that doesn't really sound very nice.)

Jasper

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Colonel Tye

Our new kitty has been in the house for less than 12 hours, and he's already a LOLcat (following a few random Twitter comments):



This, my friends, is the power of the Internet.

Thanks to Jeff Phillips of Los Jefes for making the image!

CKL

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Boxing Day

Friends and family: If you did not receive a holiday card from us, please accept our profuse apologies for the oversight. Our contact list may be out of date. Send us your home mailing address and we'll make sure you're included next year.

Meanwhile, everyone and their dog can read our exciting 2009 family newsletter (below).

SoleChen 2009 News

[Download PDF - 306 KB]

CKL DeeAnn Jasper Bayla

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bayla died yesterday.



Bayla died yesterday.

It happened in the car,
on the way to the vet.

We weren't ready for her to go.
We never would have been ready.

She'll never
dance by her water bowl
or drink with her front paw
again.

She'll never
sharpen her imaginary claws
on the corner of the coffee table
or the underside of the dining table
again.

She'll never
serenade us from the bathtub
in the middle of the night
again.

She'll never
sit with her front paws crossed
and her "we are not amused" face
again.

She'll never
lie on the bed
next to DeeAnn
or Jasper
again.

She'll never
be curled up in a ball
with her paws over her face
again.

She'll never
wake DeeAnn in the morning
by patting her face
again.

She'll never
sit inside a cardboard box
again.

She'll never
lick or chew a plastic bag
again.

She'll never
play with her curly ribbon,
batting at it
and chewing on it
again.

She'll never
rub her face against the wall
or on the book we're reading
again.

She'll never
stand on DeeAnn's thigh
and beg for a piece of sandwich
again.

We'll never
feed her lunch meat
from our sandwiches
again.

We'll never
comb her tabby fur
and remark on how much she sheds
again.

We'll never
hear her thundering down the hall,
running away from Jasper
or chasing him
again.

We'll never
see her grooming Jasper
while he sniffs at her neck
again.

We'll never
hear her complain
when Jasper bites her
or when we pick her up
again.

We'll never
check her belly
to see if it's pink or fuzzy
again.

We'll never
clean up after her
or give her a pill
or worry if she's eating
again.

We'll never
hear her snoring under the bed
again.

We'll never
kneel down on the floor
to see where she's hiding
again.

We'll never
watch her walking across the bookshelf
or have trouble jumping onto the bed
again.

We'll never
hear her licking her catnip mat
with her scratchy tongue
again.

We'll never
feel her lean into our hands
as we pet her
or rub her chin
again.

We'll never forget her.

I'm happy
she gave us fifteen years,
like DeeAnn asked.

I'm glad
we were both with her
at the end.

I hope
she knew how much
we loved her.

Good-bye, Bayla.

We miss you, baby-girl.



Bayla

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Scalzi on Self-Publishing!

Jasper here, with more on self-publishing, this time from New York Times bestselling author and multiple Hugo Award winner John Scalzi! From his "Quick Note on Self-Publishing":
[I]f you are going to self-publish, for the love of all that is good and decent in this world, don’t pay to do it. In this day and age, there is no reason to do so...

[This] assumes you are minimally competent to copyedit your own work and are competent to do a basic design for your book, either on your own or using the default settings available on Lulu or other similar services. If not, you can hire people to do these specific tasks, which is still very likely to be cheaper than a suite of services you would buy from a vanity publisher.

In related news, there's been a bit of an online brouhaha surrounding romance publisher Harlequin's announcement that they're launching their own "vanity press" imprint! They got spanked pretty soundly by several trade organizations, including SFWA, and that's all I'm going to say about that!

Always remember Yog's Law: Money flows toward the writer! (And thanks to Viable Paradise's Jim Macdonald for originating that axiom!)

Jasper

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's Spelled B-A-Y-L-A.

Just to clear this up. I know humans are easily confused.

I am not a 20th-century Hungarian composer.

Nor am I the leader of a fusion-jazz musical group.

And I am definitely not that dude who played Dracula.

My name is Bayla, and it's derived from the Spanish word for "dance." The humans claim it's because I have a special way of drinking water. Whatever.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

My Many Nicknames!

The humans like to call me lots of different things, and sometimes you can actually figure out why! Here's an example:
  • Jasper turned into a fake-Spanish diminutive becomes Jaspito (with a long "e" sound)!
  • Shortening that gives you Pete!
  • Adding a title produces Master P, which will be my moniker if I ever start rapping!
Of course, some of the nicknames just make no sense at all. "Tinito Mio?" Is that supposed to be Italian? Humans are weird!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cory Doctorow on Self-Publishing!

Jasper here, with some commentary from Hugo-nominated science fiction author Cory Doctorow!

Cory's latest Guardian column is about "Why free ebooks should be part of the plot for writers," but he also addresses the question of self-publishing:
[W]hy do we need publishers if we can just release ebooks and make the print available through one of the many excellent print-on-demand houses such as lulu.com? Well, a traditional publisher does a lot for you that is unrelated to printing books, from preparing the manuscript to ensuring that the book connects with an audience by wooing reviewers to talk the book up, booksellers to put it in the path of readers, librarians to put it on the shelf and, of course, by paying for a certain amount of marketing in the speciality and general press.

Note: that's not a typo! People really do say "speciality" instead of "specialty" in England!

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

QuoteBusters: Lincoln didn't say that.

Bayla here with some actual facts. I know, you probably didn't expect to find those on the Internet. Just deal with it.

While catching up with my blogs last week, I saw The Quotations Page's "Quote of the Day" for July 19th:

"People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like."
- Abraham Lincoln

And I thought, Really? That construction seems awfully modern and snarky--more like John Scalzi than the 16th President of the United States. But it is just random enough to be true.

So off I went to do some research. How else am I supposed to kill time under the bed all day?

According to The Quotations Page, Lincoln used that sentence "in a book review." No date, no mention of the book title or the publication in which the review appeared. Typical.

A Google search revealed that many of the people who use this quotation describe it as Lincoln's "response" when asked for a review or critique of a particular book. So, not actually a book review. That helps. Maybe.

The only direct reference I could find is from George William Erskine Russell's 1903(?) book Collections and Recollections (full text at Project Gutenberg; my emphasis below):

But "The Art of Putting Things" includes also the things which one might have expressed worse, and covers the cases where a dexterous choice of words seems, at any rate to the speaker, to have extricated him from a conversational quandary. As an instance of this perilous art carried to high perfection, may be cited Abraham Lincoln's judgment on an unreadably sentimental book—"People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like"—humbly imitated by two eminent men on this side of the Atlantic, one of whom is in the habit of writing to struggling authors—"Thank you for sending me your book, which I shall lose no time in reading;" while the other prefers the less truthful but perhaps more flattering formula—"I have read your blank verse, and much like it"

You may also recognize two other literary clams in that paragraph. Those, combined with a lack of primary sources, make me doubt the overall accuracy of Russell's (wait for it) recollections. OH. SNAP.

I found one other scholarly mention of this quotation, in the Yale Book of Quotations (2006 edition), but I also consider them suspect because they list the publication date of Russell's book as 1898, when a peek at the Gutenberg text shows that the preface was written at "Christmas, 1903."

However, the Yale Book does mention one other interesting fact:

David Mearns suggests in the Lincoln Herald (1965) that the source for this remark was a mock testimonial by Artemus Ward: "For people who like the kind of lectures you deliver, they are just the kind of lectures such people like."

First of all: 1965? A hundred years after Lincoln's death and that's the best you've got? And second: "mock testimonial?" What does that mean?

After several hours of web searching, my paws were tired, but I finally found a definitive debunking in Ralph Keyes' book, The Quote Verifier (my emphasis and linkage below):

[I]n late 1863 a spoofy newspaper advertisement for [Artemus] Ward included this testimonial: "I have never heard any of your lectures, but from what I can learn I should say that for people who like the kind of lectures you deliver, they are just the kind of lectures such people like. Yours respectfully, O. Abe."

So, there you have it. Accuracy may die, but satire lives forever. Thanks to the blog Abraham Lincoln Observer for that pointer.

Verdict: BUSTED. Let's give credit where credit is due.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Stigma of Self-Publishing, Redux!

Hello aspiring writers! Jasper here with some more FREE ADVICE for you on self-publishing. It comes from THE INTERNET, so you know it's good!

First of all, thriller writer Joe Konrath has the definitive answer to the question: "Should You Self-Publish?"

I won't keep you in suspense! The answer is, it depends. Read his complete blog post for more--he goes into specific exceptions where it makes sense to self-publish instead of going the "traditional" route!--but as he says, the most important thing is "to figure out what it is you want, and then decide on the best way to get it."

If you're interested in numbers and data and stuff like that, check out novelist Lee Goldberg's "You Can Be a Kindle Millionaire" blog posts! He talks about putting some of his backlist and out-of-print titles on Amazon, and gives actual sales numbers for each title!

And once again, his conclusion says it all: "So far, I have earned nearly $700 on out-of-print books that I thought were long past their earning potential for me. That's not a lot of money... I don't think the Kindle is the wave of the future for authors or publishing...at least not yet. Not even for self-publishing. There just isn't enough money in it for original works to make a living at it or simply a decent wage."

So there you have it! If you want to be a successful writer, it still pays to get an agent! Don't get discouraged! Check out literary agent Nathan Bransford's blog or others for some inside dish. And keep writing!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Bug!

It was warm today! The humans left the big window open and uncovered all day. Bayla and I spent hours lying in the sun. It was great!

A tiny flying bug got into the mini-house. It was real! I chased it all around. When the humans noticed me, I caught the bug and ate it. It was crunchy and satisfying.

Real bugs are the best. Catch them before your humans can!

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Finally, I get to play with the new toy.

The humans brought home this interesting toy a few weeks ago. It's this little device with a button on it. When a human holds the device in their hand and pushes the button, a little red dot appears wherever they are pointing. The human can wave their hand and make the dot crawl all over the house.

The dot acts just like prey, and can get really far away from the humans. I love the way they can make it quiver with terror. It's a great toy.

Of course, the humans wouldn't let me play with the toy when they first brought it home. It was for Jasper. He was the only one who got to play.

Ordinarily, I'd be a little miffed at this treatment. But Jasper and I have an arrangement. He gets first pick of all the toys. I get first pick of everything else: food, water, treats, catnip, freshly cleaned litter box, sleeping spots.

And the best part of our arrangement? Jasper always gets tired of his toys. Then I get to play with them, too.

I love our arrangement. I don't miss out on anything.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Fraud!

Remember how I was telling you about this great bug we have in the mini-house? The one that runs really fast and the humans don't even care how much I play with it?

It's a fake!

I thought it was kind of strange that the bug only appeared when the humans were around. And I knew something was up when I kept catching the bug only to have it crawl on top of my paw. I couldn't feel or smell anything!

But I was having so much fun that I didn't really pay attention.

Then I noticed that mouse-shaped thing the humans were always holding whenever the bug was around. It went "click!" The bug appeared. It went "click" again and the bug disappeared. They pointed, and the bug appeared where they were pointing. When they moved their hand, the bug moved too.

It's so disappointing! The bug is a lie.

I just wish I could quit playing with it. It's so much fun!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I was wrong.

Remember how I was talking about things getting more fair around here? As it turns out, not so much.

It looks like my time of freedom from pills has ended. She forced one down me yesterday. It's been weeks since I had to take a pill. You'd think the humans would recognize this and give me a treat afterward or something. Not yesterday.

To make matters even worse, it turns out that Jasper's syringe-full of sticky stuff isn't bad at all. I watched the humans make it for the last couple of days. Once, they mixed it with water. The other times, however, they mixed it with tuna broth. I have no idea why humans would think that they need a syringe to make Jasper eat tuna broth. That stuff is a treat. We both love it.

Apparently, the humans have come to that realization as well. She made a batch of sticky tuna broth yesterday and started to suck it into a syringe. She must have noticed us standing there and looking hopeful, however, so just put it down for Jasper to eat.

As I mentioned, I like tuna broth. I hurried over to get some. Jasper would have let me share, but the humans dragged me out out the room. I had to lie there, struggling, and pinned down on the bed while he enjoyed his broth.

And all this happened just minutes after she made me take a pill. I had to suffer and Jasper got the treat.

There is no justice.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Bug!

I may have mentioned that I LOVE BUGS. They are my favorite toys. They zig, and zag, and sometimes fly! And after I'm done playing with them, I get to eat them!

There's this new bug that comes around lately. It's the most fun of all! Except I never get to eat it.

No matter what I do, I can't catch it. Sometimes I have my paw right on it! But it still gets away. That's pretty strange.

But I love this bug! It runs really, really, fast. Today, I ran as fast as I could, but it stayed in front of me the whole time. I chased the bug so long, I got tired, and had to rest.

It happened yesterday, too. I got tired, flopped on the floor, and just watched the bug until it went under the couch to hide.

The humans watched with me. They didn't even try to take the bug away from me. That's strange behavior for a human, but I guess they like this bug too.

I hope it comes back again tomorrow!

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Friday, March 20, 2009

It's about time things started to balance out around here.

The humans have been forcing pills down me for a long time. It must be years now.

Jasper never came over to volunteer for the torture instead of me. He always stood out of the way and watched. Until the humans finished, of course. Then he came running for the after-pill treats.

I have to choke down the pills, and he gets the treats. Somehow, that just doesn't seem fair.

But now things are starting to come around. I went from a pill every day, to a pill every other day, to a pill every now and then. And now, I'm not taking any pills at all. That's pretty good.

But it gets even better. Jasper is the one who had to go to the vet by himself this time. And, starting this week, the humans have been making him choke down a huge syringe-full of sticky stuff. They're not doing it once a day, either, like I started with. Jasper gets the syringe at least twice a day.

Sometimes, I stand out of the way and watch. Sometimes, I come to share in his treats. Sometimes, I just curl up on the bed and listen to Jasper taking his medicine.

I like the way a little fairness sounds.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Webcam!

Jasper here! That is indeed part of my head and body you see at the very beginning of this time-lapse video! And that is my girlfriend Fluffy toward the end! MORE ABOUT HER LATER.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cnn-F7bwU9Y

(For those who are curious: I used Dorgem to capture a series of images based on motion, then used Picasa to turn those images into a video. I love technology! Especially when it's FREE!)

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Bored!

Sometimes, I just can't think up anything to do. But I'm still bored.

So I tell the humans. They usually ignore me the first few times. It's almost like a game. Or else they think I'll just stop being bored if they don't pay any attention!

If they keep ignoring me, I walk on them, or bite them. If they hide in the room with the closed door, I yell louder or kick the door. If they still ignore me, I get a running start and crash into the door as hard as I can. It makes a nice, satisfying crash. And I can always yell longer than the humans can ignore me.

But even when humans stop ignoring me, they can't think of anything interesting.

I don't want to chase fuzzy balls or the twisty piece of plastic or twist ties. I don't want to jump for paper balls. Curly ribbon is just stupid, even if Bayla likes it. I don't want to play with strings. I don't want chase my fur mice. Cyborg Mouse still rattles when I hit him, but he's no fun, either.

I don't want to play with rubber bands, not even the super-long one with the bell on the end. I thought the elastic bandage might be interesting, but it was no fun. Catnip is just boring. I'm tired of being carried around so that I can stand on the humans' shoulders and look at everything from up high.

I don't want to chase Bayla. Fluffy and Regent, the neighbor cats, never have anything interesting to say when they come to visit. Even the squirrels are boring!

It's so boring around here. I'm bored. Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, BORED.

I just wish there was something to do.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Stray humans are not welcome.

I don't like having people invade my home at the best of times. At least when my humans let them in, I know that they had to meet some sort of criteria for admittance.

Even if one of the new humans comes over when my humans aren't home, I've met her and know that she's been pre-screened. So, it's okay when she gives me a pill.

I don't approve, of course. I do not approve of my own humans when they give me pills. It's an unpleasant, unwanted experience. But I'm a cat, and I have to put up with these things if I want to keep my humans.

I am not, however, willing to put up with stray humans who come to the big glass window at the back of our mini-house. I hiss at these humans and tell them to go away.

The first one fell out of the mini-house upstairs. He was clumsy, even for a human. I guess he was embarrassed about it, because he stomped and made angry human noises before he came to bang on the big glass window at the back of my mini-house. I hissed and told him to climb back up the wall where he came from. Or to go around the building and walk up the stairs like all the rest of the humans.

Another human--or maybe the same one; humans are all pretty much the same unless I can smell them--came by again last night. I hissed again. Eventually, this one went away too.

I guess I'm going to have to keep a careful watch on the big window at the back of the house while my humans are sleeping. But I do not know what is wrong with these strays that they keep trying to come into my territory.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Humans!

Sometimes, the humans like to have other humans come visit. Mostly, this happened when we lived in our other house. We'd have a crowd of nice humans who came over every few days. I got lots of pets and playtime then!

Once in a while, there would be a whole LOT of humans for one day only. Bayla and I got locked in our room when that happened. It was boring, but it was okay. I don't like too many strange humans to bother me! Besides, some of the familiar, nice humans would come visit.

Since we moved to the mini-house, there haven't been many human visitors. We either get scary strangers who come in with noisy machines, or we get one human at a time. The one human stays for a little while, usually ignores Bayla and me, and then goes away again.

This weekend we got lots of humans! First, we got one human who ignored us for a couple of nights. Then we got a bunch of humans for one day only. One of the human bunch even stayed overnight.

It's been a long time since we've seen so many humans at once! I remember both of the humans who stayed with us from before, but all the others were new. I thought it would be scary, especially since Bayla and I weren't safe in our room with the door closed this time.

But it wasn't so bad! The first human who stayed with us put up a shimmery curtain-thing. Most of the new humans stayed on the other side of the curtain. The ones who didn't were mostly just running back and forth through the curtain. They really seemed to enjoy it. A couple of the others came through the curtain to give me pets and attention. That was nice.

I'm starting to remember why I used to like it when my humans had other humans come to visit!

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Today has been very relaxing.

We all slept in, even the humans. I like it when everyone stays in bed for hours after the sun comes up. It's very homey.

Then--miracle of miracles--the humans finally listened to Jasper. He's been trying to get their attention for almost a week. But we finally got some catnip. As Jasper might say: "Catnip! I love catnip!"

He does, too. It makes him even more mellow and affectionate than usual. We spent the afternoon alternating between napping and indulging in green, leafy goodness.

I may have overindulged a bit. The humans were in the room to hear my distress, however, and got everything cleaned up in a hurry.

Unfortunately, they took the catnip away. I wonder how long we're going to have to wait before they give us more?

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Strangers!

Strangers have invaded the house twice in one week. I hate it. The first time, the invaders were a couple of female humans carrying lots of noisy tools and smelly liquids. They caught me while I was under the dining table watching the squirrels. It was scary! I barely escaped in time to get under the bed.

Bayla and I stayed there while they made a terrific racket and rubbed stinky stuff all over the pace. My eyes watered for hours. Days later, the smell still lingers. I don't know how humans can stand it.

Yesterday was the second time. Luckily, Bayla and I were already on the bed, so we just crawled under as fast as we could. Good thing! Big male humans came into every room, pushed buttons, and made strange noises.

At least they were gone quickly. Those other humans were around for hours! They set a trap, though. As soon as I thought it was safe enough to take a few steps out from under the bed, the ceiling started to beep. I had to run back under so fast that I bumped my head on her leg as I went past.

Things are quiet now. I just hope the humans don't let any more strangers into the house this week!

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Frustrating!

This is how the day is supposed to go: she gets up first and does her jumping around on the little platform in front of the TV. The rest of us take a mid-morning nap. That way, when we get up, we all get to go straight to breakfast. Bayla and I eat while the humans are still gathering up all their supplies. Then the humans take forever with their breakfast, and I watch the birds and squirrels out the window. After breakfast, we play with strings or paper balls a little while before the humans get all boring with their computers. Bayla and I spend this time resting up so we can have dinner and run around at night.

I could do without the part where the humans are boring, but it's a good routine. I like it.

Today has been all wrong! First, she didn't get her jumping around out of the way while we took our nap. She just went into the room with the TV and took a nap. When the rest of us got up, she was just getting started with the jumping around. It took much longer than usual, too.

This wouldn't have been a problem if our food bowl wasn't completely empty. But it was! Bayla and I had to wait forever for the humans to turn off the TV and start breakfast. While he was waiting for her to finish, he locked me out of the most interesting room in the house. I yelled for him to stop messing around, but all he did was pick me up and carry me around.

Usually, I like that, but not when I'm hungry and the routine is all messed up. So I got down. I may have scratched his shoulder a little, but he didn't need to make such a fuss over it! For such big creatures, humans are really wimpy. After all the commotion, I wasn't surprised when they interrupted our routine even more to waste time and cut my claws. Stupid humans! Now I'm going to have to spend weeks sharpening them again.

By the time, we finally got on track and had breakfast, it was too late. None of the squirrels or birds came to visit. When I got bored with watching nothing out the window, I told the humans to do something interesting. Their idea of interesting was to pick me up and carry me around some more. I didn't like it once already this morning, so I got down again. At least this time, nobody yelled and made a fuss.

Then we did paper balls for a few minutes, but nobody's heart was in it. I guess I'll just take a nap with Bayla now.

It's been a very frustrating day. The humans need to work harder to maintain a proper routine!

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

This maxi-house has a lot of doors.

I'm not ready to call it home yet, but I'm starting to get pretty comfortable in this maxi-house. Jasper and I have only had to leave it once. We went to the vet, but even that wasn't too bad: no shots. I was really glad to get back to the maxi-house.

I've already mentioned the most obvious differences between a maxi-house and a mini-house: it's bigger; my own furniture is here; we don't go places all the time. There are also more doors.

In the mini-houses, there were usually a few doors: the one to the rest of the house, the one to the bathroom, the one to the place humans kept their clothes, and then one with a lot of noisy machines that the humans never opened. Sometimes, there was a door that led to the bed.

Here, the door to the rest of the house also leads outside. The humans seem to get a lot more excited about this door than they ever did about the exit from a mini-house. She's always waving around a paper, or yelling and kicking when I show interest. I make a point of showing a lot of interest whenever she's stumbling and sleepy first thing in the morning. I made her fall down once. Paper flew everywhere. It would have been more satisfying if he had yelled and gotten up to see what was wrong, but he and Jasper just grumbled and rolled around in the bed. They're both lazy like that.

We also have two doors to bathrooms here, instead of one. The humans put our litter box in a box-sized space in one of the bathrooms. The litter box cubby has curtains. Jasper and I finally have a little privacy when we need to use the litter box. Even though the humans can't watch us anymore, I still like to open the door and watch them when they use the human water-chair. It makes him uncomfortable. We also like to go explore after they take a shower. Water is best when it's hot and fresh from the tap.

The clothes room is bigger here, too. Jasper and I both like to climb up onto the shelves. Sometimes, he takes a nap inside our small carrier. I don't know why he does this. The humans only use that carrier when they want to take us somewhere new. I hate going to new places, even if the vet wasn't so bad this time.

I can't prove it, but I have noticed that after I go to the vet, I get new pills. She always use her squeaky "good cat" voice on me when I get a pill, but I'm not fooled. It's just another torture humans have devised for us cats. I'm very proud of the fact that I've never stopped resisting, even after all these years of pills. She was slower than usual yesterday, so I spit out my pill three times and even managed get him to come over so that I could spit water on both humans.

I could talk about my victories over humans all day, but this is a post about the different doors at mini-houses and maxi-houses. They can actually open the noisy machine doors in this house. There are two of sets of machines behind two doors. One set of noisy machines washes the cloths humans like to put all over everything. I don't object to cloths. They're kind of fun, actually. I enjoy lots of different textures for walking, for scratching, and for sleeping. The other machine room just holds a big tank of water. Before the humans filled the room with boxes, Jasper and I liked to lie next to the water tank. It was warm, when it wasn't noisy.

There's a door to the bed here, too. The humans rarely close it, so I don't care about it.

There are three doors here that aren't like any of the doors in any of the mini-houses. One door holds more human clothes and shoes. It's got a separate door to a connected space right next to it where the humans stockpile food. I like to jump and climb on the shelves. These doors also make a satisfying thump-thump noise when I open them at night. I like to wait until the humans are sleeping before I do this.

And then there's the door I like the least. There's nothing special about it. It just leads to another part of the maxi-house. The humans go in all the time, but they never let us come inside too. At first, Jasper and I thought it was an oversight. So we tapped and called and scratched at the door. The humans didn't open the door. They just ignored us, talked to us through the door, or came out and picked us up. I hate being picked up; it's almost always something unpleasant.

I've had sniffs and glances when the door was opened, so I know there's nothing special in the room. It has a bed, computers, furniture, boxes, and books. But the humans are keeping it a humans-only secret. He spends a lot of time in there. Sometimes, she joins him. We've even had a semi-strange human over. The guest-human got to go in the room whenever she wanted, but she didn't let us in at all. This is not fair. I have a right to climb on top of all the furniture and sleep under all the beds in my own maxi-house.

I vow never to give in to the tyranny of a door with a humans-only room behind it. If both humans go behind that door, I will paw at the door, yell, and cause trouble however I can. Humans need feline supervision. The sooner they realize it, the sooner all of us can call this place our home.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Psych!

Hey, Mac users! I'll bet you were all excited about today's announcement that Google was releasing its Picasa photo software for the Mac, weren't you? Well, so was I! Until I discovered the bad news--it only works on Intel CPUs. PSYCH! So it's no good for our humans' vintage 2005 Mac mini, which runs on a PowerPC G4. LAME! I mean the new Picasa is lame, not our Mac mini. Macs are cool!

I guess Mac users who like Picasa are stuck with the iPhoto uploader, which works okay, but you still have to deal with crappy iPhoto. Macs are cool, but their software isn't always so great. We use Picasa on Windows to organize photos, and fortunately, PCs outnumber Macs 4:1 in our house. Because you can play more games on a PC! We love games! One of the humans bought a new Vista box just so she could play The Sims! But we're not going to buy a new Mac so it can run Picasa. That would be pretty silly.

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