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Saturday, November 18, 2017 1 comment

Meet our Newest Inmates

Daughter Dearest’s cat Sprite shuffled off this mortal coil, went to meet his Maker, brought down the curtain and joined the choir eternal… Well, he was 16, so he’d been part of DD’s life for over half of it.

Of course, there was someone at church who had rescued a few kittens from a runaway mom who were almost weaned. We’ve been there before—somewhere, I have a pic of a 15 year old DD bottle-feeding three hungry kittens by… oh look, I found it:

From 2004. I remember those boys were HUNGRY and didn't want to wait in line.

Anyway, she got the two surviving ones (another got underfoot… of a cow) and brought them home. They only needed about a week of bottle-feeding, fortunately. So here they are…

Here I am—pet me!
Oscar (I joke that he has that name because of #OscarsSoWhite) is the affectionate purrbucket of the two. He’s also the explorer, often shooting out the door into the kitchen when someone opens it. He will climb right up your pants leg if you don’t pick him up. Daughter Dearest says: “He climbs my leg if I’m wearing jeans, he climbs my leg if I’m wearing slacks, and it’s very painful if I’m wearing shorts.”

Sprite was mostly white when he was a kitten as well, but then developed Siamese markings (but definitely not the Siamese 'tude). I kind of wonder if DD is hoping for the same thing to happen here.


I'm fine down here. Really.
KT, which DD informs me is short for KAT, is the more retiring of the two. She doesn’t run away, but she doesn’t run to you like her brother does, either.

Her markings are very similar to those of my first (adult life) cat, Megabyte. If she’s anything like he was, she’ll pick her person, latch on, and not be all that present for anyone else.

Charlie is thrilled to have little furballs around. But we have to keep constant vigil that he doesn’t grab a leg or torso too hard. Prying that grip loose can be a battle these days.

Oddly enough, Rosie the Boston Terrible likes them, and not for a snack. DD brought Oscar into the living room one night, and Rosie licked him constantly. She’s often over at the doors going to the porch, watching them through the window and moaning.

They share the porch with Pop, the big orange cat. He seems to tolerate them OK, but does like to be outside this time of year. Who knows what he might catch under those piles of leaves?

Friday, November 03, 2017 No comments

Chairman of the Whiteboard

Already doing math
Ever since they painted some of the walls at work with it, I’ve wanted to get some of that dry-erase paint and cover a couple of Mason’s walls with it. The problem is, his walls (and most of the walls in FAR Manor, for that matter) are paneling… aka Norwegian Wood.

My second thought was “hey, I think we have a piece of sheetrock in the garage. I could mount that and paint it.” As it turned out, I didn’t have any sheetrock in the garage… but there was this piece of shower stall board, about 4' x 4'. I scribbled a corner with a dry-erase marker, left it overnight, and found it erased just fine the next day. I wanted to find some framing boards, with a notch cut into one side, but had no luck. I ended up buying four 6' pieces of 1x4, figuring I could rabbit out a notch with the table saw.

This was back in the spring. Then I had knee surgery, and was pretty much sidelined for the summer. But old surgical wounds heal, given time, and the whiteboard-to-be was taking up space in the garage. As were the boards.

With a little time, I got on it last weekend. First step was to notch the boards. The table saw did the job, once the fence was in the right place. I cut the groove into each board, then flipped them sideways and cut off the strip of wood. A nearby chisel got drafted to finish out the notches.

Next up, the whiteboard had to be trimmed. I had planned for 48" square exactly, but somehow ended up with 48"x47¾". No problem, I hadn't trimmed the boards yet. I use the miter saw to cut 45° angles.

With all the parts ready, I grabbed the drill battery out of the charger and got to work. It went fairly quickly; I put up the bottom board, using a level to get it straight. Then I slid the whiteboard into the notch, added the side and top framing (bonking things straight with the hammer), and screwed it all up down. The final touch was a piece of angle-aluminum, once used as a hanger for 1/2" videotape cases (old pro stuff), now a place for his markers.

Mason was pleased, but… “What can I use it for?”

“Anything,” I replied. “Draw pictures, write down stuff you want to get done, do math problems—”

“Yeah!” he exclaimed, and proceeded to cover it with multiplication tables.

I still need to get him a set of colored markers and an eraser. He’s making do with the one marker we have an a paper towel for now.

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