A Bit Of Thankful Positivity

I’m having a difficult time staying positive lately, so being as this is the week of Thanksgiving for those of us in the USA I thought I’d express my appreciation for some of the things that keep me going.

Wendi seems to still like me
This is a big one for me. That someone not only puts up with my nonsense but elects to stay with me is an enormous foundation to my existence. Bonus points for her ability and willingness to turn groceries into food, and eternal high marks for her power to learn and do practical things (such as lighting the water heater).

1st World Infrastructure
We lost power for four days last week, and our lives became… interesting and complicated. It was a frustrating experience, and we certainly wished that the utility workers would reach our area sooner. We’ve lost power twice in the decade or so that we’ve owned our house, and this was the only time it stretched into multiple days. That’s pretty cool, really. We can largely just take it for granted that our access to electricity will be uninterrupted, and even when lines get broken we can call in the problem, get an estimate for the repair, and track the progress online.


Kittens make everything better
In actuality they destroy everything their maniacal little paws can reach, but they’re just so damnably adorable that you have to admire their energy. Then they curl up on you and go to sleep, and your heart melts all over again.

My teeth have not exploded …yet
Two out of two dentists agree that my remaining baby teeth will explode. What they won’t do is offer any feasible suggestions for how to deal with the gaps that would be left after they’re properly defused and extracted from my upper jaw. There are teeth hiding in my gum that prevents them from putting posts in for fake teeth, and four healthy teeth would have to be sacrificed for bridgework.

So until they can present me with a viable course of action, I live with the threat of dental cataclysm. But I live!

Prestige collections of old comics
Journey Into Mystery, The Heap, Forbidden Worlds, Tomb of Terror, Konga, Crime Does Not Pay! — a lot of great, old comics are available now in full-color (often hard-cover) editions. As a fan of the medium, it’s thrilling to finally have affordable access to some of the treasure of the golden and silver ages of comics!

Middle management that values results
With my cynical attitude and occasional meltdowns, it’s a good thing that my immediate bosses appreciate my contributions. Otherwise our regular talks might have stopped abruptly quite some time ago.

Did I say kittens?
Yes. Yes I did. Because they’re awesome!

Zzzzzzzz... meeeeeeew...

Zzzzzzzz… meeeeeeew…

Have a good Thanksgiving, and travel safely!


Goodbye Ling

Last week we said goodbye to Ling, who survived far longer than expected on an emergency diet supplemented by baby food. When we first got her, in the late 1990s, we were living in a townhouse. She was our third cat, and she loved Toupee (1st) and feared Austen (2nd).

It took me a long time to accept her, probably because loving her would force me to confront Austen’s bullying behavior. In fact, when Austen died I actually resented Ling for suddenly thriving.

I’m a horrible person.

Ling was always weird, even by cat standards. She liked to drink from the bathtub while we were preparing to shower, and she would constantly prowl the kitchen counters and sink for scraps of food. She once stole a sandwich from one our friends. She’s our only cat who managed to eat from the fish tank. She would come down my shoulder from the back of my chair, stick her rear end in my face, then loop around to do it again.

Grace was not Ling’s strong suit. She would hurl herself bodily at ledges, always nailing herself in the chest, then scramble up.

She was never afraid of company. While the others would hide upstairs, Ling would happily move from lap to lap soaking up warmth and attention.

When she was young, she dashed through a slightly open door to chase a stray. Then she freaked out and wedged herself into a car engine.

Last look at a loving friend.

Last look at a loving friend.

On Monday night she took the final step in her long decline. She would be on her way somewhere and just stop to lie down. We tried to make her comfortable and hoped she’d rebound yet again, but by morning it was clear that she was not going to come out of it.

We decided that we couldn’t leave her alone. It was time to let her rest. Wendi stayed home with her and made the appointment. I failed her for the final time and went to work (only because of a meeting). Never one to do the expected, Ling died a few hours before she could go to the vet’s. I got the news right before that damned meeting. It was everything I could manage to get through that meeting without lashing out in grief.

My final memory of Ling is petting her before I left. She had crouched on a mat in the kitchen, unable to complete whatever cat mission she’d been on. Just inches away, Dmitri and Fischer wrestled. Barely two months old, they had just gained command of all their limbs and spent every waking moment in energetic play.

I could wrap this up with any number of pithy observations on that moment, but I really don’t want to spoil it. I’m just glad that for the next few decades we’ll have cats who knew Ling, however briefly.

My Name Is Sean and I’m Addicted to My iPhone Game

This past weekend, as has become my pattern, I fell ill. All Saturday I felt exhausted. Then I slept for essentially the next two days. During this period of lethargy I somehow discovered that there’s an iPhone version of the classic game of inter-stellar conquest, Spaceward Ho!

No time for writing! There's a galaxy to conquer!

No time for writing! There’s a galaxy to conquer!

With its simple interface and charming voice clips (“Yah!” for leaving a planet, “Whoooooooa!” for aborting a trip, and inarticulate grumbling from opponents when you thwart their plans), it became am obsession for me in the Apple SE days.

I downloaded it immediately and played it whenever I was conscious. Only the sheer lunacy of “American Horror Story Asylum” got me to set it aside for a little while.

If I start missing writing deadlines, I may need an intervention.