Thursday, November 30, 2006

Stray cat

Kristi came in this morning carrying a little yellow cat. She said that he was sitting on a tire in the wheelwell of a car in the parking lot, crying, and when she called to him, he immediately came to her. The ground was covered in ice and we were supposed to get a lot of snow today; the poor little guy was shivering. She had a conference call that she had to do, so I took him into my office and closed the door so he couldn't run around and get into any trouble.

I don't know how old he is, but probably no more than six months or so. He's a tiny little thing, with long legs and a long skinny tail. Kurt went out at noon and bought a bag of kitten food and some kitty litter; once we poured some litter into a low cardboard box, he jumped right in and peed, obviously having been waiting for us to do just that. A smart little guy.

I took some camera phone pictures of him, and Dave made a "Found Cat" poster that Kristi duplicated and put up in several store windows on the street, but by time to go home, no one had called. The snow had started, and, in fact, Cello was out in it and called and said that it was a blizzard, so everyone started packing up to leave mid-afternoon. I decided I would take the cat home for the night. I'm not sure why I didn't just leave him at the office, though. At the time, I was thinking that it would be dangerous for him down there because of pesticides that had been sprayed, etc., but I could have easily just left him in my office with the door shut.

Oh well. Bob says I just wanted to bring him home, and I guess I did. He cried for awhile in the car, but after about a half hour, he settled down and went to sleep in the box I had him in. With the snow, it took me two hours to get home, so we had a long ride.

When we got home, I put him in the downstairs bathroom with a bowl of food, a bowl of water, a blanket, and a temporary litter box made from a cake pan. Dinah and Pyewacket weren't very happy; Dinah, especially, was upset. It was probably a bad idea to bring him home, but now (nearly 11:30) everyone seems to have mostly settled down. Baby kitty is quiet in the bathroom, Pye's upstairs with Bob, and Dinah is on my lap.

Quite an eventful day! I so enjoyed having a cat at work! I didn't really get much work done, though. He spent most of the day walking around on my desk and pouncing on things. At one point he was trying to catch the mouse pointer on the monitor, then for awhile he would lie in wait and pounce on my hand as I moved the mouse. He was pretty entertaining.


I got an email from Kristi last night that while no owner has come forward, she did get a call from someone who lives down near our office who saw the posters, and said that if the owner doesn't show up, he'd be willing to take the cat. So we won't be becoming a three cat household, thankfully. I suppose I'm a little disappointed, but it's definitely for the best.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Birthday weekend

I had a very nice, quiet four day birthday weekend. Bob went away for the weekend on a fishing trip, he left Thurday after Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' (which was very nice, too).

So I slept late each morning, went out to eat a few times, watched a few movies, read some books . . . it was nice.

I took myself out to breakfast on Friday for my birthday. I went to LePeep, and when I got there, they said there would be a 20 minute wait for a table. My first inclination was to leave, but then I remembered that I had a book and my journal with me, and it was a nice day, so I sat outside at a patio table and wrote, and the time passed quickly. I read while I ate, and took my time, and it was just really nice.

I did a little bit of shopping that afternoon, although nothing major. I went to Borders and spent my holiday savings reward (on myself!), then went to Bath & Body Works and bought a few things for Christmas gifts, plus another bottle of Hot Chocolate bubble bath (love that stuff).

I went to Jason's Deli for the salad bar on both Saturday and Sunday, cooked fish sticks and potato pancakes for dinner a couple of times, and ate leftover turkey sandwiches one night.

I watched both Ghostbusters movies, read one of the books I bought on Friday (A Girl's Guide to Witchcraft, which was a lot of fun, sort of chick lit with a magical theme), read a couple of other books from my to-be-read pile (see the book list, and just generally had a nice, relaxing weekend just for myself. I did do a bit of freelance web stuff, cleaned the bathroom, dusted, did laundry, that kind of stuff, but I mostly just relaxed. I think I needed that.

I've gotten back into studying the tarot, and Liora (I think it was) left a comment on an entry that she liked it when I was talking about different decks and cards. The first time that I did that, I got several negative comments, and while I don't let readers dictate what I write about, I guess it made me feel kind of weird about it. So I'm going to do it again, but I'm going to do it at Rarepeace, my tarot journal. A better place for it, anyway.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006


Every year I write a Thanksgiving post, and every year I'm thankful for the usual things -- Bob, my family, my friends, my job. I thought maybe this year I'd think of all the other things that I'm thankful for, that make me feel blessed. So, in addition to being thankful for my family and friends, I'm thankful for:

  • Lipton Green Tea To Go
  • Pepperidge Farm Parmesan Cheese Goldfish Crackers
  • Homemade buttermilk Ranch dressing
  • Libraries
  • Healthy snacks at work -- apples, Kashi bars and cookies, nuts
  • Indian summer
  • Noro Silk Garden yarn
  • Brittany wooden knitting needles
  • Bath & Body Works Wickedly Hot Chocolate bubble bath*
  • The dollar aisle at Target
  • Schlotzky's
  • The salad bar at Jason's Deli
  • A drawerful of handknit socks
  • House, M.D.
  • James Lee Burke
  • DVDs
  • Oregon Vanilla Chai
  • Vanilla candles
  • Bottled water
  • Cell phones

*I don't normally like scented products that smell like food. Well, apart from peppermint and vanilla, and some fruity scents. I don't like candles that purport to smell like sugar cookies or apple pie, or vanilla things like Bath & Body Works' Warm Vanilla Sugar -- I used to love their Vanilla Bean scent, but they discontinued it (of course), but I don't necessarily want to smell like something that just came out of the oven.

So I didn't really have high hopes for their new line called Temptations. Scents like pumpkin pie, cinnamon bun, caramel popcorn, and gingerbread didn't interest me at all. I was interested in trying out "Twisted Peppermint." I bought a sample bottle to try, and it was as wonderful as I had hoped. When I went back to buy a full size bottle, I decided to try "Wickedly Hot Chocolate," and oh man, I LOVED it. I went back again and bought a full size bottle of that, plus a bottle of the body lotion in the same scent. I think I'm going to go back tomorrow and buy more. It's absolutely wonderful. It smells (and, frankly, looks) like brownie batter. Sounds weird, I know, but it's heavenly. I am sure, therefore, that it will be discontinued soon.

I went to Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' today. I went early to help my mom, and Bob drove separately, since he was leaving after dinner to head for the lake. My niece gave me a check (a Hello Kitty check!) for my birthday, and my parents gave me a beautiful sage green hooded sweater, an absolutely perfect color and design. My brother and sister were there, and I talked to my other sister on the phone.

My sister who was there had recently bought a house, and she had a corner baker's rack that she didn't have a place for, so she gave it to me. My dad and I worked and worked and tried to figure out how to put the back seat down in my car -- the instruction manual was no help at all -- and I finally figured it out. I also came home with a lot of leftovers. Bob was worried that I wouldn't cook for myself while he was gone; I still don't have to cook, I'll just have to use the microwave.

I had my Amazon shopping spree last night. I ordered a book on the tarot and dream interpretation, a tarot deck that I thought looked particularly suited to dreamwork, a James Taylor Christmas CD, and the new Damien Rice CD. So much fun to go shopping with gift money! Bob's folks sent me a birthday card with cash, too, so I'll probably use that tomorrow.

My plan is to sleep late, as late as I possibly can, then take myself out to lunch someplace nice (probably Chili's) and do a little shopping. It's sort of a requirement, isn't it? Shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. I doubt I'll do much, but I'll put in an appearance and do my best to get into the Christmas spirit.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Birthday week

It's Birthday Week!

This time of year is always difficult for me. I probably have a bit of SAD (Season Affective Disorder). Whenever we have a sunny day, I try to get outside for at least a little while at lunchtime; working in a basement doesn't help, probably. Here's something to be thankful for, though:

The wonderful weather the past few days has helped lift my mood considerably.

Also good friends. I got a big package from Barb on Monday, with a Winnie-the-Pooh coffee table book, a sparkly silver and crystal "W" ornament, and Ghost Busters! I had seen this at Target a few weeks ago, picked it up and carried it around for awhile, then decided I shouldn't buy it, and put it back. Then I came home and put it on my Wish List. Barb obviously checked it. :)

This morning David sent me an Amazon gift certificate, so I can hit the Wish List again.

And tonight UPS delivered a gift from Joanna -- a Christmas CD from my wish list, Ottmar Liebert's Christmas and Santa Fe. I've loved Poets & Angels -- his first Christmas CD -- for a long time. Wow -- 1991! Look at the difference in hair styles!


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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Christmas lists

I love this: It's a Christmas Post!

Here's mine.

The best things about Christmas

Christmas music. I have about 350 Christmas songs in iTunes. Around this time of year--sometime in November--I switch my iPod playlists to Christmas ones.

Top five Ten Fifteen Christmas songs:

  1. Christmas Must Be Tonight, - The Band
  2. Driving Home for Christmas - Chris Rea
  3. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues
  4. The Christmas Song - The Ravonettes
  5. Christmas Bayou - Michael Doucet
  6. Christmas Time - Smashing Pumpkins
  7. Do They Know It's Christmas? - Barenaked Ladies
  8. Maybe This Christmas - Ron Sexsmith
  9. Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Mannheim Steamroller
  10. Suddenly it's Christmas - Loudon Wainwright III
  11. The Virgin Mary - Mason Williams
  12. Good King Wenceslas - The Roches
  13. A Song of Christmas - Lowen & Navarro
  14. Feliz Navidad - Los Lonely Boys
  15. O Tannenbaum - Vince Guaraldi Trio

Christmas movies. I love Christmas movies. And by that I don't mean movies that are about Christmas, necessarily, but movies set at Christmas. Like Diehard. Did you ever think about that being a Christmas movie? It is. Some other favorites:

  • Christmas With the Kranks
  • Love Actually
  • Home Alone
  • Holiday Inn
  • Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas

Christmas books. Same thing -- I love reading fiction that's set at Christmastime. There are only a few that I can think of. I see a lot of it in displays at the bookstores, but most of it doesn't appeal to me enough to risk buying it. I suppose I should write down the titles and check them out of the library. Here are some that I own:

Other favorite things about Christmas:

  • Christmas print paper towels
  • Christmas themed zip-lock bags and storage containers
  • Peppermint ice cream
  • Cranberry gingerale (do they still make this?)
  • Peppermint candles
  • Pine candles (Yankee Candles' "Mistletoe" is the best)
  • Cheap Christmas print notepads and ballpoint pens
  • Christmas cards
  • Christmas stamps
  • Christmas music in the stores
  • Christmas lights
  • Pine scented air freshener and candles
  • Holiday scented soap and bath products
  • Christmas-themed nightshirts from Disney World
  • My "'Tis the Season to be Crabby" pajama pants from Joe's Crab Shack
  • My Christmas-print Vera Bradley knitting bag

That's all I can think of at the moment. I'm getting in the Christmas spirit early this year.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Saving the best for last

I'm a person who saves the best for last.

If I'm eating a meal and there's something that I particular like, I'll probably eat everything else first, then eat my favorite. If I have a bowl of some kind of snack--nuts, chips, whatever--I'll eat the broken ones first, then the whole ones. If I have M&M's, I don't eat them in order of color, but I do eat any broken ones first.

When I check my email, I delete all the spam first, then look at the business/corporate stuff, saving the stuff that I really want to read, i.e., emails from frirends, for last. When I open up Bloglines, which I use to read all of the sites that I used to keep bookmarked, and that I now subscribe to via rss feed, I read them in order of interest.

Or, it's also sometimes in order of length -- I'll read the ones that I know will be really short first, and save the ones that I know will be lengthy (and juicy) for last.

I'm not sure what, if anything, this says about me.

Bob and I went to the grocery store tonight so he could get a treat. He wanted something from the bakery section, and while he was deciding, I wandered around to see if there was anything I wanted. If they had had a chocolate croissant, I would have gotten one, but they didn't, so I didn't get anything.

They had some fudge that looked good, but it was a larger quantity than I wanted, and I wouldn't have been able to decide on a flavor, either. Both just plain chocolate and peanut butter looked good. It made me think about another idiosyncracy I have -- I'm much more likely to buy something if it's an assortment. If they had had a package that had a couple of pieces of several kinds of fudge, I probably would have bought it. Almost anything is more appealing to me if there's a range of flavors, or some kind of a sample pack with more than one variety. Like a package of instant hot chocolate packets, with one or two packets of each of several different flavors.

Or instant oatmeal -- I remember that they used to have boxes with several different flavors (they may still, I just don't buy it anymore), and I would almost always buy that rather than a box of all the same flavors. I'm not sure why, exactly. I guess I just like to try a lot of different things. Or maybe I'm afraid I'll get bored before I eat six bowls of oatmeal . . .

What else? Tea. If Celestial Seasonings or some company like that has a sample box with a bunch of different teabags in it, I'll buy it. Like, for instance, a holiday assortment. Rather than buy a whole box of one flavor, I will definitely always choose the assortment.

Especially a holiday assortment. I love holiday stuff. I don't really like herbal tea, but it's almost more than I can stand not to buy all of the Celestial Seasonings holiday teas. I resist, because I know I would like them, but it's still a huge temptation. Bob and I were at Target last night to pick up a couple of things, and I saw Christmas goldfish crackers, and while I didn't buy any, I was really pulled in that direction.

I love this time of year because I can buy paper towels and paper napkins with Christmas prints, and Christmas post-it notes, and peppermint ice cream, and pine-scented candles . . . Put some kind of Christmas theme on anything and I'll be much more likely to buy it than the regular version. Target's "Dollar Spot" has a bunch of Christmas toiletry items now, and they're all really cheap and cheesy, but it was all I could do not to buy one of everything--red and green striped sleep masks and manicure sets with candy-striped toe separators (for holding your toes apart while putting on nail polish), bubble baths and incense.

I love it when Bath & Body Works comes out with their holiday scents. This year they have a wonderful peppermint scented body wash; I need to go buy a few of those. I'm always seduced by candycane striped ballpoint pens near the checkout lines at stores, and I almost always go through the cheap cosmetics aisle at the drugstore and buy a couple of bottles of glittery nail polish, even though I seldom wear it.

Hm. I think the Christmas thing deserves its own post.

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Language barrier

After a comment that a reader's iTunes had switched her to Denmark, I did a quick search and found that it's not an isolated problem. From The Unofficial Mac Weblog:

iTunes 7.0.2 thinks I've moved to France (and they have no TV Shows there!) - The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW):

"A number of people, myself included, have noticed that after or shortly following the upgrade to iTunes 7.0.2, their default country was changed for the iTunes Store. The first sign for many folks that something was amiss was the missing TV Shows, Movies, Audiobooks and Music Videos in the sidebar nav. Resolving this little glitch is super easy of course... just scroll down to the bottom of the iTunes Store home page and select the country you actually reside in.

I discovered this morning that iTunes thought I lived in France. I've never been to France. I look awful in a beret. I don't even speak French. Although I hear Paris is lovely in the Springtime.

It would be nice to know if this glitch is directly related to iTunes 7.0.2 or if it's the result of other iTunes Store renovations that are being done, but in the end all that really matters is that you can always go home again, and with little effort.If you've discovered any other oddities after iTunes 7.0.2, let us know!

Update: We've got first hand confirmation now that this hiccup is not specific to iTunes 7.0.2. Users who haven't updated yet are experiencing the same trip 'round the world."

Also documented on MacFixIt:

Several readers have reported an issue where, after updating to iTunes 7.0.2, the preferred language for the iTunes Store is switched to one other than originally specified by the user.

So we're not crazy. Well, not with regard to that.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Two more

I couldn't really get in the Halloween spirit this year, I'm not sure why. I did decorate my office, and I put a few things up at home, but I guess I just wasn't in the mood. We didn't get ONE trick-or-treater last night, but that's probably mostly our fault--the light over the front porch is motion-activated, and it stays off unless someone comes right up to it, so as far as anyone could tell, the house was dark. And I just left it that way.

I had bought candy just in case, but for the last few years we've really gotten almost no kids at all, so it wasn't a big surprise. We just had a quiet evening at home. Bob went out and picked up fast food at Arby's, and we hung out with the cats, and that was pretty much it.

This was interesting. Bob called down to me, "How come my iTunes is in yen?" I said "What?" and he came down and said that all the prices in iTunes on his computer were in yen. I went upstairs to see for myself, and it was obvious that not only were the prices in yen, but the whole iTunes store was the Japanese store. I couldn't stop laughing -- such a weird thing. I had no idea what had happened. He said he had upgraded to the new version, and when he started it up, it was like that.

I went back downstairs to my computer and looked through the Apple website trying to find out what had happened -- I knew that for some reason he had the Japanese store, but I thought they knew where you were logging in from by your IP, so I couldn't see how they thought he was in Japan. I couldn't find anything at the Apple site, so I started up iTunes on my computer, and found, way down at the bottom of the page, a select box where you choose which store you want, depending on your location.

So I went back upstairs and told him, and we found it, and sure enough, his was set for Japan. We changed it back to US. I came back downstairs and remembered that I had an iTunes upgrade pending, too, so I downloaded and installed it, and when I opened up iTunes again, mine was in Japanese, too! So weird. I knew that I hadn't done anything differently, but I went back to the homepage, and, yeah, mine was set to the Japanese store, too. I wonder if there's something in this upgrade that does that, although it would seem really weird (even more weird than it already is) if there was some strange setting that was setting the location incorrectly in both the PC and Mac versions.

Every night I go and find Dinah (fortunately the last couple of days she's been sleeping up on the bed, so I just scoop her up and she's so sleepy that she doesn't even realize what's happening until I get her downstairs), bring her down to the kitchen and put her on the counter. While I'm upstairs getting her, Bob has gotten the syringe, and he's hiding it behind his back in case she realizes what's happening.

I hold onto her, and Bob scruffs her tight and injects the antibiotic into the loose skin at the back of her neck, then massages her there, and I let her go, and she jumps down from the counter and shakes herself, and I giver her a little spoonful of canned catfood.

Two more injections, two more nights.

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