I am not a morning person.

Filed under: @ 5:45 pm

I am not a morning person. Anyone who has lived with me for a long enough period of time to see me get up in the morning more than -say- two or three mornings in a row will know that I am NOT a morning person.

I LIKE mornings. I like fresh air and quiet and sunrises and little morning birdies beebling around. I even like getting up in the morning to exercise. A brisk walk before everyone else is up is one of my favorite things.

But I am not a morning person. I’m a slow starter, I’m thick headed and maladroit. Most of the time I can manage to actually walk without bumping into things…. not all the time, but most of the time.
And my brain doesn’t kick in for at least an hour after I’ve gotten up. It’s a good thing my car is sensible and has a good sense of direction because I’m not sure how I’d get back and forth to work otherwise.

I am, and always have been, confusing to Andrew’s family. Although after long acquaintance they do understand that expecting me to be vivacious first thing in the morning is a lost cause. Hell, most mornings I’m barely coherent.

It’s worse during the dark period of the year. I’m a hibernator. When it’s dark out my brain understands that it could still be daytime, but my body says: “Dark. Dark equals night time, night time equals sleep. Good night!” It’s a lost cause on winter mornings.

I work the early (0700-1700) shift at work during the even numbered months of the year. In the last few weeks and during the days I worked in October and December of last year, my mornings follow a veryset routine.
I get up, do my bike ride, feed cats, make breakfast, pack my lunch, shower, and dress. Most mornings I barely turn on a light. I do have to turn on a light in the kitchen (the night light over the stove hood) and in the bathroom when I shower, but for the rest of it…. candle light or dark (come on, in a suburban house, especially one that’s crawling with electronics, it’s never really dark anyway. Why should I waste the energy?)
Sometimes Andrew doesn’t even notice me leaving. And pretty much always the cats will eat their breakfast and then go bumbling back to whatever soft place they’d been snoozing before breakfast and go back to sleep.

Why am I telling you this?

The Northwest Flower and Garden Show opened this morning. Andrew had pulled the first shift at the Fungi Perfecti booth and he needed to be at the convention center downtown as early as possible. Because we have easy access to the YAY! Train! and because driving, let alone parking, downtown is always a nightmare, Andrew was planning to take the train. So he needed to get up early so he could get the train into downtown.
So I got him up when I got up at a little after 5 a.m. My body automatically fell into it’s morning motions while my brain huddled at the back of my head protesting that it wasn’t really morning. Andrew came out of the bedroom to see me in my jammies crouched over my bowl of oatmeal in the dimly lighted dining room staring blankly at the wall in front of me.
Andrew thought it was funny (why is it that morning people always think that non-morning people are funny?), but I’ve known for a long time that he’s a morning person. And since he couldn’t manage to get himself going without just a little light, he turned on a few so he could see and neither burn himself nor get himself caught in the coffee grinder.

The light didn’t do anything at all in terms of waking me up, but to Pogo it was clear evidence that IT WAS MORNING!
Flitter, sensible little creature that she is, blinked, mumbled, and went staggering back to her nice warm soft spot. Pogo is obviously of the Hobbes school of “YAY! IT’S MORNING! NOW WE CAN PLAY AGAIN!” and tried to mug her. When that failed he turned his attention to me.

I am not a morning person.
But my cat is.

I think I’ll keep the lights off in the mornings. Pogo is obviously light activated.


A question of semantics

Filed under: @ 10:57 am

came up at work the other day.

If you have clothing that has mistakenly been splattered with bleach can you refer to said clothing as “stained”?

It was my contention that you could not, in fact, call bleach splattered clothes “stained”, but rather they had to be referred to as “discolored”.

Let the word nerd fights begin.



Filed under: @ 5:54 pm

Elastic ponytail holders.
Twenty. Eight. Elastic. Ponytail. Holders.
A big stupid Lab? Sure, I’m almost surprised when I’m presented with a young vomiting Lab and he *hasn’t* eaten something foolish. But a cat? Oh come ON now! Cats are supposed to be smarter than that.

The surgery was done Friday the 4th. The cat was still feeling fine, fully normal appetite, pissy as hell and her stomach was PACKED FULL. The stomach was HARD! How this cat was still able to process food, let alone why she was still hungry with a stomach that was fuller than full……{shaking head}

So y’all have been warned.

Seriously, look away if you’re squeamish.

Okay, you asked for it.

The stomach has been isolated and exteriorized from the abdominal cavity.

The cat’s head is to your right. A normal stomach, that is to say, a stomach that isn’t packed full of elastic, is usually flat at this stage of the game.

A small incision is made in the stomach wall. The incision has to be large enough to allow delivery of the object(s) without tearing the tissue.

In this case the incision was made and the hair elastics started popping out. There was that much tension inside the stomach.

The whatsis is removed — ideally intact, but piecemeal if necessary — from the stomach.

And removed……

And removed.

At which point you poke around inside the stomach to be sure you’ve gotten everything, poke around in the rest of the intestine to be sure you’ve gotten everything, and then get the hell out.

I wasn’t there on Friday and I didn’t get to do the surgery (a shame, really, I really rather enjoy a good gastrointestinal foreign body), but my understanding from our new doctor was that the cat was such a pisser postop that they didn’t even send her to the local 24 hour hospital for overnight care. Too fractious, doing too well to need overnight care.

Cats never fail to astonish me.


Okay, what the hell?

Filed under: @ 5:35 pm

So I was presented a cat on Monday for annual exam and vaccines. The cat isn’t particularly nice so I was hoping to get through my exam without needing to do anything major to the cat.

Except…. 😯


Except there’s a lump.
A rather large lump.
A rather large, hard, nodular abdominal lump in a cat that really isn’t a very nice cat at all.

Oh shit.

So I asked the owner if the cat had been behaving oddly in any way — how has her appetite been? Is she drinking and eliminating normally? Is the cat playing normally with her brother?
Everything checks out. Cat’s been perfectly fine.

Ah… hunh.

Okay, so your three year old perfectly healthy cat has this big ass abdominal mass and she’s not very nice and I need to take x-rays of her right now.

And so, here presented are the photos that I took of the radiographs. The first one is the cat lying on her left side with her head to your right.

This second is the cat lying on her back with her head towards (in your view) the ceiling.

Susan and Will probably will have some sort of idea of what was wrong with the cat and Matt probably has a pretty good idea. For the rest of you I’m going to have you goggle at the photos and try and guess.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, we did manage to get the radiographs taken without anyone losing any blood. Whether or not any blood was lost in the rest of the cat’s care I can’t say……. But at least she’s feeling better now.


My Inner Child is Still Grinning Like an Idiot

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 10:46 am

Went over to our friends’ house on Sunday for some food and fun. Said fun mostly took the form of a room full of old coin-op video games that Gary has lovingly reconditioned. Standing transfixed in that claustrophobic little room on the upper floor of a nice house in a burgeoning community in the 42nd state of a large-ish country on a northern landmass of the third planet of a rather nondescript solar system in an outer spiral arm of a medium-sized galaxy in this here universe, I was magically transported back to my salad days in the early ’80s….a time when, ironically, I had little if anything to do with salad. At Cosmic Encounters, The Fun Machine, or the whole penthouse floor of the Mitsukoshi Building in downtown Waikiki, many an hour and many a gross of quarters were spent losing myself in the flashing pixels and otherworldly beeps, boops and buzzes of those state-of-the-art electronic coin vacuums. I could practically taste the heady combination of Susy Qs and Coca-Cola coating my tongue and etching holes in my teeth.

Here’s a quick tour of the facility.

[flv width=”720″ height=”480″]http://www.uncle-andrew.net/blog/pics/mctaggarcade.flv[/flv]

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