Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Telling Tales Out of School"

I blame Robot Chicken for a lot of things, not the least of which is a tendency to say "What a twist!"--in a high-pitched voice, pronouncing the last word as tweest...

You know what? It'll be faster if you just watch the video:



I know, it still doesn't make any sense. That is the insidious nature of this program.

Read "Telling Tales Out of School" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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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

Friday Flash Fiction: "Within Sight"

Apparently one of the newer characters on Heroes can "see" certain sounds as colors. (I gave up on the show last year, so I'm a little behind.) Of course, she can also convert those sounds into concussive energy blasts. Of course. I will refrain from calling her "Deaf Dazzler:"



The medical term for this is sound-color synesthesia, and the condition has also been featured on House.

It's pretty freaky to think about what it would be like to live in a world where everything you heard was instead redirected to your sight. I'm sure that, in reality, it wouldn't be as clean as visible-spectrum colors mapping linearly from audio frequencies, but I'm a lazy writer.

Read "Within Sight" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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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

Barry Manilow Called...

...he wants his royalties.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfT5U_rwkgA

That was The Richter Scales performing at this year's "Crunchies" awards show, in what seems to have become an annual tradition. But as amusing as that song was, I couldn't stop thinking of this one:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX3sI0q5iMI

And by the way, Barry guest starring on Glee? Could be a train wreck. I am so going to watch anyway. Expect to see an angry blog post if there is a conspicuous absence of Mandy.

CKL

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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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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

On the 12th Day of Xmas



...i.e., today, we start thinking about taking down all the decorations and putting away our presents.

This holiday season was somewhat bittersweet; we got to spend time with many new and old friends, but we also lost Bayla. We still miss her, and we'll never replace her, but we have started the process of adopting a new cat so Jasper will have a friend to keep him company when DeeAnn and I are out of the house.

2009 was our first full year of living in our new home, and while we've been able to cut back on almost every other expenditure, we've found that we really like to travel. So we'll probably be tweaking our budget to accommodate that in the future.

I'm not as down on 2009 as some people--I didn't have a job to lose, and didn't succumb to any major illnesses (knock on wood) or experience any major personal crises--but I'm still looking forward to 2010. I'm going to keep writing, keep getting better, and with a little bit of luck, start making a real living of it. Here's to a Happy New Year.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTabjtDtJ7M

(Yeah, I know that video is in Spanish, but it's the most concise black-and-white version of that clip I could find on YouTube. And the dubbing on Zuzu's last line, at 0:54, is hilarious.)

CKL

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Monday, December 21, 2009

"HP computers are racist"

Just... just watch it. Now. I'll wait.



News coverage here.

The best part is, this was very nearly the exact premise of the "Racial Sensitivity" episode of Better Off Ted, quite possibly the funniest show on TV right now:



Single-camera comedies rock.

CKL

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

How to Solve Any Puzzle in Less Than 47 Minutes

For those who couldn't attend, here are not one, but two recordings of the puzzle hunt talk I gave at Ignite Portland 7 on November 19, 2009!

From the live stream, with cutaways to slides:


And a one-shot from stage left:


The talk includes a walk-through of one Clue from the MegaHard Game (2000), and I love that several people in the audience applauded for the "a-ha" moment and the solution at the end. That's what it's all about, folks.

It's difficult to see the complete slides in those videos, so if you want to solve the embedded puzzle, you should look at these still images:



As noted, tweet @teamsnout if you figure it out. First person to post the correct solution wins verifiable, time-stamped bragging rights. :)

Thanks to all the Ignite Portland staff, volunteers, speakers, and attendees for contributing to a great event, and to Jeff Stribling of MegaHard GC for providing a copy of the Clue for me to photograph.

CKL

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