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At Miscon 2013, around Memorial Day, Missoula MT, At SoonerCon, in OKC, around June 15, also Spokon in Spokane, in July/August, Beyond that, we aren't sure.
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And it’s a white winter morning…

We got snow last night. The pond, already frozen hard and deep by a week of 20 degree weather, is white, and dark below, and we hope the fishes are well asleep.

Jane bravely got out yesterday, got the last of the juniper to the compost can, and the trash and recycling out, got the snow-blower positioned…I swear to you, if you have to buy one of these things, the little electric Toro snowthrower is perfectly adequate to clear a driveway and a walk even in a winter where the snow piles up to 5 feet total…Beyond that, you probably need more, but this little workhorse starts at a button push, handles pretty heavy snow, even that thrown by the city snowplow and beginning to set up; and throws it far enough to clear a driveway.

And I can say, finally, after a measurable 20 days of this nasty flu-stuff, I think I am really, truly on the way out of it. I’m feeling better and have a clear head. The ability to think is an improvement. I’ve lost nearly the whole month of work to this stuff.

19 comments to And it’s a white winter morning…

  • No snow stories here. Earlier in the week, it didn’t get below freezing, despite predictions for two nights. it was, however, that “three-cat night” weather I mentioned. :D So we’ve had two cold snaps and not yet below freezing this winter. Possibly, I should not tempt fate by saying that.

    (I could do with it getting cold enough to freeze the **** bugs out. But not the critters. … Sigh, trying to chase off squirrels, undetermined if they’ve found a way in, or are just running madly over my roof at any old time they please. I believe the squirrels in my neighborhood are planning something nefarious….

    The two cats find the possibility of such critters to chase highly intriguing. Neither has ever tangled with a squirrel, which is probably all to the best for both cats and squirrels (and my vet bills).

    Said cats have not been amused at the chilly outdoor weather for near-daily short visits Outside in the (exciting! tantalizing!) back yard. They think I should fix this. I’ve tried to explain I can’t do that. They are not amused…. :D

    Progress in the brain pan department: One is greatly relieved to discover one’s brain is now more functional for reading and studying than had been the case some time previously. Review and retention of some moderately techie material went very well yesterday. So well, that if one can keep this up, one’s reading and study habits might actually return to previous levels. This is most welcome and most needed.

    It’s good to hear you’re feeling better and Jane is at least a bit more functional than she was a couple of days ago.

    • paul

      Don’t know why people go all doe-eyed over squirrels. All they are is bushy-tailed rats!

      • Levanah10

        Agreed.

        *One* squirrel can be cute. Particularly when it’s trying to run off with an entire square of matzoh dangling from its mouth. (Hop-trip; hop-trip; eventually the critter, tripping on the matzoh with every step, breaks it in half and runs off with whatever’s left between its teeth.)

        But when did you ever see just one squirrel?…Tree rats, that’s all. Just tree rats.

  • CJ

    Shu darted for the back door —as usual. [He doesn't want to BE outside...he just wants to sniff the concrete and roll for a moment and look around, but shut that door and he's not happy.]
    He met snow for the first time in his life. Oook! he stopped and wouldn’t set paw on it.

  • chondrite

    We have a feline problem. Smartypants is definitely starting to feel his oats, in the form of picking fights with Little Brother, the other male cat in the small local clowder. Smartypants usually begins it when they are both eating and in proximity, but I’ve also seen him stalking LB, who has started taking siestas on the roof, away from probable ambush. DH has decreed that Smartypants, as the aggressor, should go to the Humane Society, and since he has never been a ‘friendly’ cat, I tend to agree. We have a humane trap that can be repurposed for catching cats, but how do we catch just Smartypants without spooking the others? Truthfully, we should probably be catching them all and getting them fixed, but that’s not in the budget.

    • CJ

      Getting Smartypants fixed would probably solve the problem. Little Brother would become the dominant and he’s lower octane. Most towns have a low-cost neuter program, and males are the cheapest.

        • paul

          Note: that is a comment about our use of euphemisms. I have no objection, in principle, to the notion of neutering feral cats. Just don’t avoid recognition of why one does things and one’s responsibility for taking the decision in all respects.

          • chondrite

            I used “fixed” because it was faster than typing in “spay/neuter”. We have both flavors in the herd.

          • chondrite

            It would be less expensive and easier to ignore the problem, but there are the escalating fights, plus the chance of kittens that we would have to find homes for or bring to the Humane Society, or let grow up on the streets to perpetuate the cycle. If LB got badly hurt in a fight, even though he’s not technically ‘ours’, I would probably feel I had to take him to the vet. It has gotten to the point where yes, I have to acknowledge that feeding the neighborhood free-range kittehs has associated costs and responsibilities.

    • When Smokey started into puberty, it kicked his aggressive instincts into high gear, and one morning, not wanting interference from me in somehting he wanted, hissed and grabbed me (claws) and nipped (didn’t do real damage, but I was *not* happy with him). Got loose, quickly (he knew he’d done wrong) and gave him a moment to calm down, then shooed him in. (He was Outside, rolling on the concrete, super excited, charged up. Being Outside was a new thing, too.)

      I got him back in, scolded him something fierce, to his utter amazement (What’d I do?) and to Goober’s fretting at this uncharacteristic happening. This was the last straw with the aggression he’d been showing. It was early to take him in to be fixed, but he was already well into it and had been too aggressive. And no, kitty, you don’t get to do that, *I’m* the boss, the top cat male around here, and I expect civilized behavior. I worried, would I have to give up this great little cat, given to me as a street rescue, kept from freezing and starving? Was this aggression going to be permanent. Oh, no, do not want! I’d never, as an adult, had to give up a pet before, and didn’t want to start with this one. It’d feel like betrayal, of me as well as him.

      I marched said miscreant to the vet’s post haste and left him to get fixed, then came back that day or the next to get him.

      Awk! You left me! I’ll be good! Hey, I want out of this-here cage! Lemme out! *Home!* :whoosh: He hid a while, which I’d expected. But came out faster than expected. Am I OK? You still love me? I love you! I even love Goober! (Kinda.) I’ll be sooo good, I promise!

      It did take a week or so for the aggressive urges to settle down. But it put them back on more equal footing, both neutered toms, and I once more had my very assertive, funny, into-everything buddy back. And he knew that even if he fussed, I’m still boss, and I’ll be fair, but don’t attack me, I won’t stand for it.

      I recommend having them spayed or neutered anyway, both for aggression, spraying, and to help against the urge to wander, with risk of picking up diseases or causing a population explosion in kittens without homes.

      Little Brother sounds way more agreeable and congenial. Better a cat who can get along peacefully and friendly with the locals than one who wants to tear them up.

      Getting Smartypants to the vet, though, is a task, but any upset to the others will be (mostly) forgiven and forgotten, or eventually so, as long as you’re not showing signs of outright insanity by feline standards.

  • WOL

    We’re having a little warming trend here — up to the 60′s during the day and down in the 30′s at night, continuing at least until Wednesday, which is as far as my weather widget shows. I have a dentist appointment scheduled. Root canal, post and crown with decay around what’s left of the tooth root and wobbley tooth. Not the “beaver” teeth but the one next to the right one. It would be conspicuous in its absence and it’s time to explore options. You may hear a high-pitched squall, “How much ?!?!?!?” Whatever we do, it will probably be costly and time consuming. Am not looking forward to it.

  • paul

    We don’t often get more than 6″ from any storm, and nothing more than a fraction of an inch in recent years. That’s because I bought a snow shovel a few years ago, after doing without for 15 or more. ;)

  • paul

    And so we rip another page off the calendar. NOT! My calendar is on the wall beside me, the official Ansel Adams wall calendar. (After one year, many years ago when she failed me, my sister now thoroughly understands that I will consider it a completely satisfactory Christmas if all I get is the new year’s official Ansel Adams wall calendar.) I have a dozen years or more past years safely in the closet–I might have some framed and on the wall, e.g. Sunrise at Lone Pine, were the framing itself not so expensive!

    She will be receiving a wool scarf in the official tartan of the Campbell’s of Breadalbane from Scotland. Her genealogy work seems to show our 15th GGF is Sir Duncan Campbell, Second Lord of Glenorchy and Brealbane. “Let’s all go out and give the English what for!” He died at the Battle of Flodden Hill, along with the cream of the Scots aristocracy, effectively decapitating Scotland as a political power for years. (If you see the Queen and Charles at the same function, you can be sure they arrived separately!)

  • philospher77

    I can tell that winter has finally arrived, since we got our first serious rainfall earlier this month (an entire quarter-inch!), and had it rain on a second day. That brings our yearly total up to a whopping 2.77 inches! Our average rainfall is around 17 inches, so we have been really hurting this year. There is still a bit of hope, since this is the start of the rainy season. The hills may turn green, if we keep this up.

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