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I’m having a bad day, okay?

*&$#@ tech life

They know when you need them

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A subset of “they know when you have money.”

I had a feeling this was going to happen. Sometimes, you just know.

Primary laptop was a late 2007 MacBook. It had topped out wrt some software updates–couldn’t run the latest OS, struggled with Firefox and every other browser, frankly. Labored when running even a short video.

First kernel panic–the Mac version of “Dive! Dive!”–occurred about 10 days ago, resulting in a frozen system requiring a cold boot. Second kp occurred the day before yesterday. Third one occurred yesterday. Notice the pattern? Yeah, me too.

Suffice to say, I really, really, REALLY needed a reliable system, esp for the next week.

2am, I am 1) hunting for my ancient PowerBook to make sure it still worked, and 2) making an appt with the Genius Bar to check MacBook. Not all kps are system-related–sometimes, peripherals/network problems are the issue. But I wanted to make sure.

Long story short. Hardware issue. Could it be fixed? Probably. Do I have time to deal with this now? NO.

In addition, I learned that I can no longer read MacMail on my PowerBook because the OS is so old that it no longer works with current software. Plus, it had issues in the past that techs suspected were related to a motherboard nearing the end of its life.


I am soon to be the somewhat relieved owner of a 13″ MacAir. Solid state. I will pick it up either this evening or first thing tomorrow, with all the stuff from the MacBook ported over. When I have time, MacBook will be repaired. It’s still a decent system, but the internet is passing it by.

The sweet young things at the Apple Store goggled over the PowerBook. “Wow, look–it has a place for a phone jack.”

Meanwhile, funny smell emanating from under hood of car. No smoke. No dash lights. No apparent leaking. Taking it to the shop for a check on Monday morning, but I have a little bit of driving to do between now and then. Suffice to say that I really didn’t need this now, either.



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That’s Life, laughing at me.

I am home. Kuro is not. He is still at the garage because 1) the sideview mirror was not painted during the week as it was supposed to be, so it was not ready to be installed, but that was okay because 2) more work was needed in the form of replacement of the catalytic converter, which failed. Hence, the ::check engine:: light.

The fact that I have money saved for things like this is beside the point. It would be nice if, at least once, said money was able to sit in the damned account for longer than a bloody month.

They know when you have money. Damn straight.

So, I have a loaner until Monday/Tuesday. I also had the presence of mind to print out another 15% off coupon and boy am I glad I did that. In the case of the catalytic converter, it ain’t the labor. It’s the cost of the blasted part.

And no, not even thinking of a new car. The absolute last thing I need is a car payment. Kuro is going to have to serve for the next few years. At the rate he’s going, he will be brand-spanking new under the hood anyway. He’ll be 12 11 years old in April. Maybe we can reach 20.

I would like to reach at least 15, because 15 YEARS IS BIG METAL CHICKENS.

Anyway. Home. We set the diet aside for the time being and had a glass of wine and a tuna melt with an excess of good cheddar.

Red peppers are currently roasting. Some will be used to gussy up some jarred marinara tomorrow. The rest will be saved for sandwiches.

More snow fell this morning. Overall, we wound up with 3-4 inches of fluff stuff. Could snow overnight, so I’ll wait until tomorrow to shovel.

It’s only 1 pm. Feels like it should be later.



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I really had been looking forward to today. Started off in a really good mood.

Then, on the way to work, a passing SUV clipped my driver-side mirror as I sat waiting in a turn lane. Big chunk of plastic knocked out of the housing. No, they didn’t stop. No, I didn’t get the license number.

I could probably fill in the gap in the housing with duct tape and a black Sharpie, but I will go ahead and get the thing replaced. Because what am I but a river of money. Dammit.

It didn’t help that the meeting I was on my way to when this happened was canceled without any notification. If I had followed my normal schedule, I would still have an intact drivers side mirror. Dammit.

Sometimes there isn’t enough chocolate in the world. Dammit.

At least my hearing is okay. Had that checked today, as I have been dealing with ringing in my right ear for a couple of years and have finally decided to see if we can figure out what’s causing it. I have some loss of hearing at the highest frequency, but for a number of reasons I think there’s something else going on. I see my regular doc next week. There may be an otolaryngologist in my future.

In better news, just planned a long weekend with a few other writers. End of April, but given how we’re almost in February already, it will be here before I know it. I will really need the break.

cool links dammit life with dogs


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I can’t keep up with the changes over at Madame Agent’s critique auction for Sandy relief. We’re currently looking at the possibility of 4 critiques, with 4 folks donating $1500 each. Tune in tomorrow to see how it all shakes out.

King had a restless couple of hours this evening that I think was caused by an upset stomach. He seemed fine when I came home. I admit that I did give him a couple of biscuits, a new brand that might not have agreed with him. After a few minutes, the restlessness hit–he paced, drank water, and wanted to go outside. He went to the bathroom. He seemed anxious and a little clingy.

I had to give him his chemo tablets, so I did. I also gave him 10mg famotidine in case he had heartburn. I then fed him some chicken breast and rice. He remained restless for another half hour or so. Then he finally settled. He’s sleeping now.

I, on the other hand, am now the one feeling restless and edgy.

When I take King in for his next follow-up, I am going to ask about the best way to handle an upset stomach. I’d like to have something on hand to give him when it hits.

I hate when something like this happens now because I worry that it could snowball.

I need a cookie.

In other news, I just watched two minutes of STAR WARS–Episode 3. It was all I could take.


Piling on

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So much sadness these past few days. Loss of friends. Friends losing friends, family, pets.

It can take a hike now. And the screen door should whack it in the ass on the way out.

dammit music you tube

Ear worm

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I don’t often get classical earworms, but Beethoven’s Rage Over a Lost Penny has been looping through my head all day.

It’s appropriate. Not that I’ve lost anything, but the chasing one’s tail air of the tune just fits.

around the house life with dogs

Saturday morning, too early

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Heard rustling in the dark. Checked the clock. 230am. Listened. Thought it was Gaby at first, as that is her usual Bathroom! Mom! time. But the step was too heavy and there was the clinking of dog tags besides. That meant King.

Turned on the light to find him staring at me from the bedroom doorway, and told him to lie down. I didn’t want to let him out because I suspected he sensed an animal in the yard, and I really didn’t want to deal with a barkfest in the middle of the night.

Then I saw that he was licking his lips and swallowing, licking his lips and swallowing. Oh hell. If I didn’t want to have to break out the heavy duty floor cleaner, I needed to let him outside.

I let him out, and he immediately started chomping grass, that frantic rummage I remember so well from his severe gastritis days in mid-2007. There isn’t much of the long stuff left, so he darted from one spot to another, pulling at whatever blades he could find. After a minute or so of this, he ran around to the back of the garage. I grabbed my coat and went after him, braced for sounds of retching, and rounded the garage just as he started barking at the rear gate and sniffing the fence line. He ran back and forth for a bit, trotted back to the deck, took a long drink from the ever-present water bowl, then stood by the back door and waited for me to let him in. I debated, since the prospect of mopping up a really big puddle of half-digested grass lacked appeal, but let him in anyway. He waited by the bakers rack for a snack, which I declined to give him, so he returned to his bed and settled in, grumbling a bit as usual. After a few minutes, the sounds of soft snoring emanated from his corner.

It took me a little longer to get back to sleep. I feared that the gut bomb would hit and I wouldn’t get him out in time. But the snoring continued, and I must have relaxed because the next thing I knew, it was 7am. Found nothing untoward in any of the rooms. Fed everyone. King and Gaby are now dozing in the living room, Herself on the couch and HRH on the dog bed.

I still don’t know what happened. I think King’s stomach adventures are so indelibly etched that any hint of tummy rumbles or heartburn panic him and drive him to the grass. But it settles quickly, so he then goes about his business and leaves me to wonder WTF??? At 230am, when the mind tends to wander.

Damn dog.

My Black Friday shopping consisted of quick trips to the local grocery store and drug store. The grocery store was almost empty–the produce guy told me that it will remain slow until late next week, and that folks are told that if they have any vacation time left, this is the time to take it.

Today, work. Dinner will likely be the beef veggie soup. At some point, I need to tweak the holiday lights. They stayed on all night, which means the timer didn’t. It’s cloudy. 50s, with a cool-off coming. I don’t mind that the decorations are lit since they brighten things up.

dammit life with dogs


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Haven’t had a sinus headache in ages, but I had one today.  It started around noon, and by 2pm my face felt stuffed with cotton and my spinal cord made every effort to push its way out through the top of my head. In the past, I’d have taken a decongestant, but I’m on thyroid meds now and can no longer take sinus meds that actually work.

When I feel like this, my body fixes on complex carbs. Around 230, I hiked across campus to the main cafeteria for a nutrition drink that I normally wouldn’t touch with a barge pole. When I got home, I cut up the two very ripe cantaloupes that I had picked up yesterday, and fixed a big bowl of the stuff with blueberries. Had some warm Brie and crackers on the side because soft, mild cheese was the only protein that appealed.  Now I’m sitting on the deck, where the warmish, damp air is working its decongesting magic on my head–I’ve already had a couple of sneezing jags, and am hoping for a couple more.  I’ll stay out here until the skeeters drive me inside.

The days are already noticeably shorter. The bats used to emerge around 830pm; now, they come out closer to 8. Nuts are falling from the trees. Two of the larger tomatoes are finally starting to ripen–Siberians, which come in a couple weeks earlier than other varieties. The Mountain Fresh should start to redden soon, I hope–they’re the size of softballs but still green green green. The Tommy Toe cherry tomatoes are starting to cascade; first one ripened, then two, and now there’s a dozen or more that are almost ready to pick, with a bunch more at the green-red stage. The mesclun look to be petering out, finally, but the peppers haven’t even gotten started. The basil are only a few inches tall, but there’s a bunch of them, so I may have enough for a small batch of pesto. I have no clue what I’ll wind up with by the time this whacked-out growing season ends.

I’m about ready to sell King for parts. A couple of days ago,  I  made the mistake of leaving my supper dishes on the table by my deck chair. Of course, King nosed them as soon as my back was turned, and of course he knocked them off the table. The bowl was fine, but the soup spoon that came from the set I had given my folks for their 25th anniversary managed to find its way to the gap between two slats and from there to the ground. First I tried to put some caulk on the end of a stick so I could nab the spoon and pull it up, but the only caulk I could find had dried out. Then I tried a string with a hook on the end, but while I could reach the spoon, I couldn’t get the damned hook to, well, hook. Did I mention that it was hot, I was dripping wet within minutes, and King kept trying to help?

Finally it hit me: Dummy, old deck. Old boards. I got the crowbar from the garage, pried up the board, reached down and recovered the spoon, then hammered the board back into place. Five minutes and done.

This newly acquired knowledge came in handy yesterday when King knocked over my side table and a pen-with-sentimental-value went the way of the spoon. Crowbar. Recover pen. Hammer.

Anybody want a dog?