Tuesday, October 03, 2017

catching up

Quick catch-up for later triggering of the memories:

Will flew us out to Burbank for a tour of NASA JPL. Beautiful weather for the flights to and from, the tour was fascinating and our guide had a ridiculous amount of knowledge.

An excellent night hanging with Karen. Drinks and food at the Plumed Horse, Adam Ant concert at the Mountain Winery (he was my first concert way back when...I snuck out to see him and was grounded for it, but it was worth it <grin>), and an amazingly beautiful night for a top-down drive home.

More Darwin medical fun: He has liver disease, so it's a lifetime of medication. Tooth cleaning and extraction. Removal of a few moles/lumps, tricky because they were on his chin and eyelid (cone of shame for weeks, joy). Keeping an eye on a few other under-the-skin masses that are okay for now, but will likely need removed later on. The fun of having a pure-bred dog.

More fallout from the inconsistently parsimonious prior owners of the house...they chose the next-to-the-bottom brand of central air, and one unit keeps failing. So now it's a case of spending a few thousand to keep it going or many more thousands to replace. Ditto with the toilets, though they are actually higher-end ones with a frustratingly finicky flapper that leaks entirely too much.

Attended a Porsche evening event during Monterey car week. Long drive to and from, but the event was cool and the weather was good (if a bit warm).

Saw Jimmy Eat World and Incubus at Shoreline. Jimmy Eat World were awesome live, Shoreline is always a fun venue (when the weather is good).

Another Shoreline concert coming up: Imagine Dragons. Can't wait for that one, it's sure to be high energy. Also have Fall Out Boy and Tom Jones (rescheduled after the last one was cancelled due to illness) coming up.

Still dealing with the nerve damage to face and head, it's likely permanent. It affects me more than I like to admit, frustrates me, tires me. Meds haven't worked, surgery isn't an option, acclimation and accommodation are pretty much all that's left.

Rejoined the GoPed family, got myself an electric one this time. Quieter and cleaner than the two-stroke I had for years, and a crazy amount of fun. Will and I have been enjoying zooming around, me on my GoPed, him on his OneWheel (kind of a high-tech motorized one-wheeled gyro skateboard/snowboard thing).

The world keeps getting crazier, sadder, more frustrating, and less logical. People are arguing against health care, against equality. Against people partaking of their First Amendment rights, while at the same time screaming loudly about their own Second Amendment rights. Meanwhile, people are getting hurt and dying as the political debates rage on. Empathy is sorely lacking in today's world, money is king, and the people in charge can only offer thoughts and prayers, because to do otherwise might anger their sponsors and endanger their supplemental sources of income.

Odd times.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

It all happened pretty quickly...it was barely six weeks from the first "hmm, he overshot the litter pan once", not even a month from "okay, that's become a pattern, time to call the vet".

He healed up well from the anal sac troubles, but his blood tests came back with some concerns. Then he kept losing weight no matter what we tried; at the end, he was down to barely five pounds from his usual nine. He had x-rays, abdominal and cardiac ultrasounds, steroids, all kinds of foods and treats; basically everything non-invasive and non-traumatic we could try.

It was cancer. We had hoped that appetite stimulant and heart meds for the murmur would help get his strength back up and give him better quality of life, but sadly no. The night before I said goodbye was a rough one for the poor little guy...I stayed up with him all night, gave him a warm lap to cuddle and soft pets any time he stirred. The next morning I made the call to the vet.

You guys know how I loved this cat. He was with me nearly thirteen years and we saw many different places, lives, loves, and losses together. He was a constant for me in some of the roughest times I've had and a connection to friends and family across miles and years.

He was a sweetheart who liked sitting in the shower with you, meowed annoyingly in the early morning hours, hobbled adorably with his missing paw yet ran like a cougar when he was after something, didn't care about most "people food" at all yet begged for piece of a Frito or Dorito. He was easy-going with anyone he met and amazingly non-finicky about food, litter, beds, toys.

He was an independent cat who still needed to be in the same room with you. He met you at the door when you came home and meowed until you brushed him, he cuddled in bed with you for a bit before deciding he'd rather sleep on the floor. He gave headbutts and demanded you scritch him, using that little claw on his partial paw to drag your hand to him. He would stretch up and paw at your knee until you picked him up, and and he would just hang out in your arms as you walked around the house. He would come over when I called his name and always wanted to be on my lap when I was on the computer.

He was a good cat and I will miss him.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

he was a good cat...

...and I was lucky to have him in my life. We saw a lot in our almost thirteen years together...he will forever be the cat against whom all future cats will be judged.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

another goodbye

Saying goodbye to my aunt Carmen and sending much love to the Saylor clan...I miss you all.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

poor pepper kitty

Figures that my first post in a while would be a bummer. Poor Pepper had to make an unexpected vet visit today...turns out he has a potential ruptured anal sac (!!), with a heart murmur that makes treating him a bit tough.

He gets to spend the next week being doped up and the coming two weeks receiving bum washes and warm compresses multiple times a day, while wearing a soft collar/cone-of-shame that has him extremely confused. Because we also have the dog, it means Pepper has to be in a room of his own (to keep the dog from bothering him, his food, or his litter), which in turn means I will be spending much of the next week hanging out on the floor with the cat to keep an eye on him and make sure he eats and drinks (and finds his litter pan). Once the two weeks are up, he goes back to see how he is healing, what the next steps will be, and how we can address the heart murmur.

Poor little guy.

(And to whinge a little: All of this hit on a day that the nerve damage and pain were really acting up, the fallout from a long day prior spent driving to and from Sonoma to hang out with friends during a three-day private track event at Infineon. Add in 95 degree heat and lots of running around to different stores to get supplies for poor Pepper, and it's been just a ducky day with more to come. >.<)

Friday, October 07, 2016

she's here

A bit ahead of schedule, but she's here. Longer post later.

Monday, September 19, 2016

"I'm a *real* boy!"

An awesome day yesterday, in which I got to be a functioning, normal human being: barbecuing, hanging with friends, swimming, beering, lounging on floaties in the pool, listening to music, catching up on life, kvetching, commiserating, laughing, relaxing.

Had to make some concessions to the neuralgia, and it's rebounding hard today, but it was worth it (plus we finally got to test out the giant inflatable swan float <grin> ).

(And can I say that it still feels weird to have 90+ degree days in mid-September?)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

a flight for Lucy-fur

One of my closest friends, who has had some really bad luck in the past few years (seriously, fuck the universe sometimes), got hit again: their awesome fourteen-year-old dog Lucy died earlier this week. It's hit the household pretty hard, especially on top of everything else they've had to deal with lately.

The next day, Will and I did a Pilots N Paws rescue flight to bring a pup from a shelter in Fresno to a foster home in Palo Alto...the timing was right, and it seemed an appropriate way to celebrate the sweet fuzzy four-footer that had been such a big part of my friends' lives and those who knew them.

The view leaving KPAO. :^)
Coming out of the clouds on the way to Fresno

There was land under there somewhere.

Sugar, loving the warm concrete and belly scritches
before the flight to her new foster home.

Flying over Moffett Airfield on the way home.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

random stuff and brain dumps

The latest "big news": Will passed his IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) check ride, so he's now an officially certified IFR pilot. Translation for non-piloty people like me: he can now fly in "inclement weather conditions" like clouds, fog, rain, low visibility (like smoke from California wildfires), and so on. The next big step is to get his commercial rating, but that's a little bit away; in the meantime, he'll probably work on his seaplane, retractable gear, and tail dragger endorsements (endorse ALL the things!).

The reason he's not going after his commercial license right away is another bit of news that we've been keeping quiet: budgeting and time and energy and plans are going towards prepping for the new arrival. Carving up space, figuring out logistics, doing the money math, all the brain juggling and second-guessing and anticipation are now getting squeezed, since it's "about that time". Time flew, months went by faster than they felt, and now it's crunch time. Stress, excitement, anxiousness, and a strong need for it to just be done with already.

Speaking of arrivals: we had some unwanted roommates a little while back. We were taking the dog out one morning and saw bits of paper and insulation loose on the garage floor. Checked the cameras and saw we had some guests (watch the lower right):

Traps worked brilliantly, and we ended up "evicting" one large adult and five smaller rats. The last one was rather sad and awkward, though. We were having the weather barrier on the garage door repaired, and the workman had brought his eight- or nine-year-old son to help out (the kid actually worked pretty hard, it was cool to watch them). As we were standing around chatting, a tiny little rat poked his head out from under a cabinet, the started slowly walking out towards the driveway. Will was able to grab a thick glove and just pick the poor thing up; it was so weak and hungry that it was easy to catch. The awkward bit came when the boy asked us very sweetly and curiously what we were going to do with it (no way in hell was I going to tell this kid that it was doomed to die, so I just told him it was a very good question). He was fascinated by it, suggested we could keep it as a pet, even asked his dad if he wanted to keep it (dad said no). We ended up wimping out and just letting it go a ways down the road...let nature decide if the little guy would survive (it would be just my luck for him to not only survive, but to bulk up and come back looking for revenge >.< ). No signs of other family members so far, and the dog hasn't seemed to smell anything lately, so crossing fingers we got them all.

Got my "You joined Facebook nine years ago!" thing a little bit ago. I avoided signing up for Facebook for ages, but finally had to once I started working for them. So crazy how time flies, and it's completely and totally bonkers how that one job decision pretty much shifted my life onto a completely unexpected path. Just like a gazillion years ago when another fortuitous job offer led to living in California and all that followed from there, I never would have thought that taking my manager up on his "Hey, come consult with me over at Facebook" offer would have brought me where I am now. A butterfly flapped its wings, indeed.

In the middle of the cool stuff is some less-cool stuff: I'm still dealing with trigeminal neuralgia. I've gone on about it before, so I won't bother this time...just a short note to say "fuck this noise". Blergh.

Lots of other small things going on: swapped out the tri-color emblem on my car with a monochrome one, looks awesome (now just need to get new rims that match); spent a fair chunk of time playing the new game "Obduction", from the folks that did Myst and Riven (it was fun to play a puzzle/brain game again, I miss those); birthday was low-key and mellow, which is how I like it; cat is still catting, dog is still dogging, snake is snaking, we have rabbits and deer and coyotes and the occasional bobcat visiting; Will is out-playing me in Diablo 3 this season, which is rare (usually I have more patience with the leveling and gear hunt, but this time he's kicking ass and is carrying my toon through leveling); Karen and I saw "Kubo and the Two Strings" and really liked it (and had to laugh at the fact that we were surprised that we liked it so much); found a big four-foot long inflatable swan raft thing for the pool (on sale!); found some amazing art at Disneyland (two originals and a print) that we need to get hung on the walls; a thousand other things that seem important in the moment, then fade into puffs of memory as time flows on.

So basically, life. Small things, big things, scary things, exciting things, annoying things, frustrating things, good things, better things. Change and not-change, go with the flow and fight the tide. Choose your battles, win some, lose some. Cliché, trite saying, homily, quote, paraphrase, wrap up, salutation, save and commit.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Before he died, I took time off from work and life to be with my dad. In that precious month or so that we had together, we shared a lot of laughs, tears, regrets, frustration, stories, love. One thing he said resonated with me, and is something I carry with me to this day:

"Ah, kiddo, life is short and fickle. When you have the time and the health, you don't have the money. When you have the health and the money, you don't have the time. And when you have the time and the money, you don't have the health.

If you ever find yourself in that place where all three line up, run with it. Make the most of it. Because it won't last forever."

He was a wise man, my father.