(This is just a short post to let you all know I’m still around. I will be posting about Florida shortly)
The above referenced song title and lyrics were the first thing I thought of as reality set in: Thunder and lightning storm. Lightning crashes directly overhead. Power flickers, TV screen freezes. The smell of burnt plastic, and of electrically charged air (a rather unique smell).
The backup batteries and converter did their jobs so well, quickly bringing the TV back on, it took a few minutes for me to realize I was no longer running on shore (hookup/city) power. But then I noticed some little things weren’t on: the fridge had flipped from electric to gas, the socket where my phone was (no longer) charging, the Christmas lights in the living room, the microwave clock… That’s serious. When the microwave is out, I am NOT a happy camper glamper.
When the rain slowed down, I switched to generator power and began checking my favorite things: TVs – check; microwave – check; fridge – check; toaster oven – check; water heater – check; oven – check; furnace – check; AC unit – ….. AC unit – ……… AC unit – …………..
Bugzilla’s relative, made an appearance a few weeks ago, but quickly darted to safety behind a drawer. I’ve been cautiously opening drawers ever since. Until today.
Bug Killer Rating (BKR) reaches a new low.
Bug Killer Rating (BKR) definition: The BKR is assessed on a scale of 1 to 10, similarly to the PSR (Primitive Survival Rating) from Naked and Afraid. (Do I actually watch that cheezy show? I don’t know. Maybe. Sometimes. I’m not saying any more. Stop asking me questions.)
A few years ago, after she chattered to Bugzilla as if inviting it to play, I thought Checkers was of little help when it came to bug killing. She was given a BKR of 1.5 because, after about ten years of training, she would occasionally chase, slowly torture, and then eat a very small bug. But mostly she’d just pester them until they died.
However, I have reassessed her BKR, essentially doubling it, from a 1.5 to a 3. Why was Checker’s BKR raised when she’s not even here anymore? Because Pye lowered the bar… But, wait! There’s more…
The sleep deprivation was getting to me. Since Pye is a water-loving freak of cat nature, squirting her with water has the opposite effect it would on normal cats. Locking her out of the bedroom, something I’d rather not do because I like her little warm body sleeping next to mine, doesn’t work because she scratches at the door all night. She wants to cuddle for about five minutes, but then she wants to play.
A sleeping Pye – it must be daytime.
Solution #1: The Vacuum Technique
Thank Goddess for the internet – I found out I’m not alone. The best technique I read was from a commenter (you guys are the best!) on a post about cat-induced sleep deprivation. He described the “vacuum technique”.
Announcer’s voice: “We interrupt our regularly scheduled post on Lake Havasu to bring you a more pressing issue. The post on Lake Havasu will air shortly. No posts will be missed.”
Slab City, California. An oasis in the desert.
You won’t find Slab City, California on a Google map. A place in the middle of the southern California desert, it is not recognized by the government as a city or town. There are no sidewalks, no electrical power lines, and there’s no running water. From November to April approximately 3,000 snowbirding RVers arrive to camp out the winter. There are an estimated 100 year-round residents.
It’s a land with no rules where the residents rely on a code of honor. Not everyone is honorable.
For all it lacks in amenities, Slab City, aka “The Slabs”, has quite a bit to offer: two libraries, two night clubs, two churches, several kitchens providing free meals, and five social clubs. There’s an 18-hole golf course, although the back nine are a bit rough. There’s a hot springs pool and a “shower”. The shower is the drainage-ditch runoff that comes out of the hot springs.
I’ve been golfing everyday on the grassless sand and gravel course. My golf buddies and I are most appreciative to Bob and Nancy Unden, a couple from San Diego who built the wonderful 18-holed oasis in the desert.
But from now on I’ll stay far away from the hot springs.
Kernut’s Guide to Medicating Your Cat: What the Vet Doesn’t Tell You
Remember my cat with stage three kidney disease? There’s no cure, but there are things I can do to slow the progression. Among the lovely solutions: giving her 1/4 of a ten milligram tablet of famotidine (Pepcid) daily, and a subcutaneous injection of Lactated Ringer’s Solution twice a week.
I recently gave her the first injection – my first “successful” attempt at injecting a living being.
It was quite an adventure.
As you might have guessed, medicating a cat is a lesson in perseverance and pain tolerance. To save any fellow cat owners the unnecessary and exhausting steps of trial and error, I thought I’d share with you all my errors so you don’t need to try them.
Either of these procedures will also count as your exercise for the day. The gym can not compare to medicating a cat.
What the vet doesn’t tell you:
Before you leave the vet’s office, make sure they show you how to put the IV kit together. Let’s just say this step is very important and I wish I had known it.
Let’s start with How To Pill Your Cat:
A pair of heavy duty leather gloves that go up to your elbows, the kind handlers of hawks wear. These are good for cat medicators, too.
A face mask. Any kind will do, but I recommend one that is solid, rather than the Freddy Kreuger version that has holes in it. It will need eye holes, but you’ll want machinist’s goggles to cover those. Don’t worry too much about holes for breathing – if all goes well you’ll be holding your breath due to intense concentration and anxiety the whole time. But, wait! There’s more…
(Side note: If you view the more recent photos, note we did NOT spray paint the place, or destroy the statues, and were quick to lecture those who did. We loved that place. I would like to see it restored but it’s going to be torn down and turned into a Bed & Breakfast or something.)
The monestary/Rispin Mansion was once a beautiful mansion built in 1922 by a wealthy man, reported to have transported liquor during the Prohibition.
It seemed only fitting we should go there to drink illegally.
The place once had beautiful parquet floors and statues. It still had secret hidden rooms, and a sliding bookcase. People, I couldn’t make this shit up – I’m not that imaginative. IT WAS AWESOME!
The place was abandoned around 1958, and it’s considered trespassing to be on the grounds.
The Four Seasons Golf Resort – probably not the one we were at.
Golf Carts Don’t Float, But Golf Tees Do – Who Knew?!
For a little while after my parents got divorced my father stayed in the general Santa Barbara, CA area. My sister, Chickenbone, and I would spend weekends and long summers with him where we would learn all kinds of grown-up things (much against my mother’s wishes) like playing poker, driving before we were even in our teens, and eating junk food all day long.
My father raised us very differently than my mother: My mother was a fairly strict and conservative parent who raised us on health food, while my father pretty much let us do absolutely anything we wanted. (See My First Brush With The Law for an example.)
And he would often help us cover up the crime.
We were too young to be left alone, not because we couldn’t take care of ourselves, but more likely we’d have burnt down the house. But my father liked playing golf, so he had to bring us along.
Just imagine two independent, but restrained-9-months-out-of-the year-then-suddenly-unleashed kids running amok on the golf course.But, wait! There’s more…