somewhat daily mutterings

/Miscellany Me Meme

I haven't posted in forever, but I thought it would be fun to continue this meme:

Via Eric Burke

  1. Take a picture of yourself right now.
  2. Don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair ... just take a picture.
  3. Post that picture with NO editing.
  4. Post these instructions with your picture.

Posted: Thu Oct 09 07:19:06 -0700 2008

/Miscellany You Gotta Love(craft) This...

I was doing a little H.P. Lovecraft random link-following, and tripped across the company ToyVault, which makes a variety of Lovecraftian stuffed toys and other objects. The company doesn't do direct sales, but the goods are sold at a variety of online stores (click on the "where to buy" link on the site). Pretty cool.

Who can resist Cthulhu slippers?

Posted: Sat Feb 17 14:21:44 -0800 2007

/Miscellany Damn, Missed it by that Much!

Why, oh why couldn't we have done a few more checkins before the 6th?

Posted: Fri Jun 09 07:42:46 -0700 2006

/Miscellany The Thing in the Crib

I've read a lot of H.P. Lovecraft over the years, and recently have been reading a collection of stories inspired by him in the book Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. One of our testers was showing me the results of some random text generation he was doing, when I commented that it looked like something from a Lovecraft story. He responded with a link to a story that had me in literal tears of laughter within moments.

The Thing in the Crib

OK, OK ... I admit that you probably have to be a hardcore Lovecraft fan to appreciate it. If you aren't, I assure you -- it is a work of perfection. Go ahead - read, say, ten Lovecraft stories, and then go back to The Thing in the Crib. You'll see why I was cry-laughing (unless of course you couldn't get past the first Lovecraft story).

Posted: Thu May 04 15:00:42 -0700 2006

/Miscellany Mmmm, When's Lunch?

I'm building up a mighty hunger from looking at Weight Watcher's recipe cards from 1974.

Posted: Mon Apr 24 09:50:58 -0700 2006

/Miscellany MB's New Orleans Pet Rescue Update #2

Due to differing hours, and MB's lack of access to PCs and phones, she's been rather incommunicado since my first update, and until today. I heard from her this morning, and she'll be back in Denver early Sunday morning if the drive back goes well. I hope to talk her into writing something up for me to post here. Until then, here's a bit of the email she sent today:

"... Sorry I haven't been in touch. My cell phone is dead and the charger isn't working in Nora's truck. It's hard to get on the one public PC here to email. Things have gone better than when we last spoke. Wednesday and Thursday were good days - we caught seven cats and two dogs in all. We are leaving today around 5:00pm and are transporting 11 cats and four dogs [back to Colorado] ..."

Posted: Fri Jan 13 20:55:11 -0800 2006

/Miscellany MB's New Orleans Pet Rescue Update #1

MB is currently in New Orleans lending a hand with pet rescue operations there. She and her two colleagues left from Palmer Lake, CO, around 6:30 Saturday morning and arrived in New Orleans about 24 hours later. I'll be posting excerpts from her "news from the front" emails as I receive them.

"Monday morning - can't believe there are five more full days to go - seems like a long time. We drove around from 9:30pm until about 2:00am last night, looking for dogs based upon reports of prior sightings, finding some, chasing after them in our big-ass muscle diesel truck, and being successfully eluded all night. What a surprise.... those dogs can hear that truck coming from five miles away! Especially in the deserted neighborhoods that we favor.

The destruction down here is indescrible, my first real view of it was last night, so I imagine it must be soo much worse during the day. Can't really put it into words. I'll try to get photos, but as with nature, I'm sure pictures can't do justice. One neighborhood we visited was particularly devastated. Debris everywhere, boats docked in front yards/medians and cars hanging from trees. Hard to imagine how long it will take for a full recovery in this town.

Right now it feels like a futile effort - maybe if we catch one dog it'll make it all feel worthwhile. We are supposed to look at dogs today for bringing home to Colorado. That's the bright spot of the day."

Posted: Mon Jan 09 12:24:22 -0800 2006

/Miscellany I Passed 8th Grade Math

I'd like to thank all the little people who helped me along the way!

You Passed 8th Grade Math
Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

Posted: Fri Dec 23 22:15:42 -0800 2005

/Miscellany I Slay Me

I was going through my archives, and tripped across this classic that I'd totally forgotten about. It made me smile, so here it is again: Pop-Tart Complaint. I can imagine his/her puzzled expression at the closing "Ha-ha only serious."

Posted: Sat Sep 03 16:55:04 -0700 2005

/Miscellany Goodbye Old Friend

We did one of the hardest things imaginable today. We called the vet and had her come to the house to put Jake to sleep. He'd had a very hard night during which nobody slept much. He was coughing and very restless all night, and was obviously not feeling well this morning. At lunch, when MB let him out, he could barely walk, and couldn't get back up from squatting to do his business. MB had to towel-walk him back into the house. We knew the time was coming, and most likely this year, but we never expected to make the decision this soon. I guess that's the way it always is. The whole process with the vet was calm and peaceful - we knew we'd made the right decision.

Jacob Von Dun, 1990 - 2005

I'm not sure how to eulogize this regal, beautiful dog. I guess I'll just list off some remembrances:

  • The ad in the paper that led us to Jake 13 1/2 years ago described him as "gentle, beautiful, obedient". All so very true.
  • He was hit by a car when he was around three. He finished his walk. MB spent the night on the dining room floor beside him while he shivered in pain.
  • I took to using a tennis racket to launch balls for him in the early days, because otherwise I would wear my throwing arm out trying to wear him out.
  • He could fetch the paper. When he felt like it.
  • In his old age, he could suddenly look ten years younger when there was pizza in the room.
  • He went on a walk, albeit short, yesterday.
  • He could bang the hell out of our footboard when chasing rabbits in his sleep. Even though he lost strength in his rear end as he aged, the volume was impressive.
  • He went sailing with us once. This was a mistake. One hundred pounds of hound in a small sailboat cockpit is a recipe for sailing disaster. We then spent the night on the boat, and none of us got any sleep. I can still remember sleeplessly looking up into the cockpit from belowdecks and seeing the silhouette of his head turning about in reaction to the myriad night sounds and smells on the lake.
  • He had the warmest, softest ears ever.
  • In his youth he would chase birds. Birds flying high in the air.
  • He had little trouble scaling the 6ft. fence of our first house. Then he'd sit on the front walk and wait for us to come home.
  • During a Christmas season years ago he sprang our gate and took his friend "Beau", whom we were dog sitting, for a walk. We tracked them down by following the trail of overturned lawn nativity figures.
  • He could swim like a fish.
  • He mixed it up with a skunk and lost. Twice. We lost, too.
  • He was quite the ear flapper. He'd use ear flapping to get our attention, especially when we were sleeping. Over the years, he developed a stripe across his head from so much ear-flapping.
  • He was one hell of a hiker.
  • He was never affectionate, but he was always nearby. Always.
Man, we're going to miss him.

Posted: Mon May 16 22:39:44 -0700 2005

/Miscellany Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Shoelaces and Knots

Ian's Shoelace Site - I kid you "not" (heh heh).

Posted: Wed Sep 22 17:17:09 -0700 2004

/Miscellany Fun!

Slot Car Game. Brings back great memories.

Posted: Wed Sep 08 20:53:42 -0700 2004

/Miscellany Stomach Cramps

Ever since eating dinner the evening after the Elephant Rock Ride (Sunday), I've been feeling somewhat bloated and having stomach cramps. I assumed Sunday evening that I'd just worn myself out and was suffering from some mild dehydration. But the cramps have stayed around for 48 hours now. They aren't horrible, but I could certainly live without them. I felt better today than yesterday, so that's a good sign.

Due to the cramps, which seem to get worse when I eat, dining has not been that interesting to me. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking of writing a book called The Stomach Cramp Diet.

Update: By Friday I was pretty back to normal. My latest theory is that I was actually getting sick on the E-Rock ride itself, and that would explain why I felt so bad by the end.

Posted: Tue Jun 08 19:39:45 -0700 2004

/Miscellany Corneal Abrasion Time (Ugh)

From time to time, I get a corneal abrasion at night, when the epithelial layer sticks to my eyelid. I then move, or open, my eye, and a bit of the epithelium is torn away. This hurts. Badly. It's like having someone pour sand into your eye. The tearing is non-stop, and your eye hurts a lot whether it is open or closed. Most of the time, I can go back to sleep and by the time I awake, it's healed, or at least reduced in intensity. However, once in a while it is disabling. Last Thursday was one of those times.

It's usually my right eye, as it was this time. The abrasion was right in the center of my cornea, so I couldn't see very well out of the affected eye. I also must have dumped a gallon of tears out of the eye by mid-morning. When it's this bad, I go to the optometrist to have them look at it, which I did Thursday morning. The Optometrist recommended an antibiotic drop and, because this is a recurring problem for me, a nightly application of Muro 128, which he says puts the eye in "defense mode" and hopefully shores up the repairs that the eye normally makes.

By Thursday afternoon, the pain was gone, but I still couldn't really see out of my right eye. Still, I was relatively comfortable. Thursday night I applied the Muro 128, which stung quite a bit, but this, according to the instructions, was to be expected. Unfortunately, over the course of Friday my eye felt worse and worse. By the time I left work, it just didn't feel right at all. I applied the Muro 128 again and went to bed early. Saturday, my eye felt (and looked) horrible. It was tearing a lot, red and angry looking, and I hurt a lot when my eye changed focus, or when looking at something even moderately bright (photophobia). I scheduled another trip to the optometrist -- same shop, different guy. He looked at my eye in more detail than on the first visit, and looked a little alarmed once he'd done so. He gave me a "good news, bad news" story: "there's no infection, but the abrasion covers a very large area - three to four millimeters. It could take a while to heal, and may not heal very well, at that." We discussed the option of going to an opthamologist, and agreed to wait until Monday if necessary at all. He and I agreed to drop the Muro 128.

The rest of Saturday my eye was pretty sore. Nothing was very comfortable, so I finally put some antibiotic in my eye, and took a nap. When I woke up, the difference was amazing. My eye felt much, much better, and my vision was somewhat restored. However, there seemed to be a filmy something or other in my eye that would somewhat occlude my vision. It also felt as though a hair was in my eye, especially when my eye was closed - annoying but not painful. I looked closely in the mirror and could make out a thin "skin" of material stuck to my cornea. I could see it slide around and sometimes get a bubble under it as I blinked and/or moved my lower eyelid around. I was a bit alarmed, so I called the optometrist, who'd given me his home number. He didn't seem to concerned, and told me to sleep on it and see how it looks in the morning. Later in the evening I took another nap, with more good results. I finally went to bed around 10:00 with an application of only the lubricating drops. This morning, I'd guess my vision is around 95% and my eye feels about 90%. What an improvement!

Even though my eye is feeling good, I still plan to see an opthamologist. I want him to take a good close look at my eye and give me a prognosis for the long-term. The optometrist theorized that the film that I saw Saturday night was the epithelial layer rebuilding. However, I always picture this happening as a migration of cells, rather than a building of a "skin" that is then cemented down. I guess I worry that this new skin won't adhere as tightly as it needs to, and I'll just rip it loose again. I also wonder if the "skin" is just the remains of the original layer that was torn loose. Perhaps I need a debridement to really clean the area up and get a good, tight regrowth. I don't look forward to having that done, but if it can prevent future problems it's worth it.

Posted: Sun Mar 28 10:56:34 -0800 2004

Thanks for visiting! Send comments to Mike Thomas.