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    Saturday, April 8th, 2006
    12:47 am
    Dogs, Books, and Sea Bass
    Dogs. Ok, so dogs are taking just about all of my time this week (month, year, decade). I've been on the golden retriever rescue hotline all week, and there have been four surrenders so far--and I'm getting one of them, a 6-year-old male named Radar--to foster come Monday. Mayen and Radio and Goose and I have barely recovered from General (see http://grr-tx.com/adoption/2006/05114generalhood/generalhood1.htm ; there's a link to photos at the bottom of the page), a wonderful 1-year-old who lived with us for just about six months. I miss him like crazy, even though I was so relieved to get him adopted out--he is a handful!!!

    Mayen and Radio and I are still taking agility lessons every week, though I stuck Mayen back a level. We've just had a calamitous couple of competitions, and I want to build up a little success before we head out to the trial courses again. She did very well this week, and actually did a perfect weave-pole entry out of a jump, which I was just ecstatic about. That girl does try! Radio's still not sure that the teeter-totter is actually safe to walk on (I need to work more frequently with her on that), and she thinks the dog-walk obstacle just might also be a teeter-totter, so we're getting a bit of hesitation about that. But she's doing great on all the other contact obstacles as well as the jumps. What we need to work on at this point is recalls. Every once in a while (like lately), she figures she's in charge, and she decides to redesign the course (Radio: "I think it would be much better to walk *around* this jump rather than to jump over it").

    Books. I have been writing server and storage manuals fast and furious lately, and there's no end in sight. Although so much of our department has been outsourced to Bangalore, there still seems to be an overwhelming amount of writing and editing to be done here, so I don't anticipate job issues cropping up for at least another year or so. Heck, maybe never. My backup plan is to get a tech writing job at AMD should things dry up at He . . . Er, Dell.

    Sea Bass. I am planning on recreating an incredibly wonderful sea bass in dashi broth recipe that Uchi (my favorite Japanese fusion restaurant in Austin) makes. I want to serve it to my family for Easter Sunday. May end up not working, but today I bought a bit of Chilean sea bass (no, it's not endangered), cod, and something else that's supposed to be a good approximation of sea bass, and I expect to experiment tomorrow. Cannot wait to put together the Easter baskets for Em and Kat--I bought a BUNCH of fun Easterish stuff the last couple of days, and they are going to love it all! :)

    Current Mood: Not uxorious
    Monday, August 29th, 2005
    3:23 pm
    Photos for my Wife and Boyfriend
    I have to figure out how to get to my webpage, clear out older photos, and post some new ones of Goose, Mayen, and Radio. I'll get to it the very first moment I have have free, I promise. Really.

    In other news, my hair is clean, and I'm still not smoking, though I often wish I were!

    This weekend Ivpiter and I went to Hutto for a TAG agility fun match, which was fun, but I was pretty tired, and unable to help Mayen focus enough to do a successful run. We ended up trying the run on-lead and off-, but nothing was working. Next time we're in that state, I will know not to try it. Luckily, a couple of my friends talked me into running Mayen over a few jumps afterwards so that we ended on a good note. Yesterday, we (Ivpiter, Em, Kat, one of Em's friends, coworker Steven, and Mayen and Radio) went to Maura's farm and washed a bunch of golden retrievers and one piglet named "Sizzle". I was trying to talk coworker Steven into fostering another of Maura's girls, Milk (she's really "MLK" for having been whelped on Martin Luther King day, but she's also so white a gold that "Milk" works for more than an easy way to say the acronym), a most lovely 1.5-year-old. I am so impressed with that sweetie; if I hadn't fallen in love with Radio, I would have tried to adopt Milk, myself. Maura also has five 2-month-olds and another five 5-month-olds out there, the former a litter of rescue pups, and the latter the remainder of Weezie's late March litter. They were gorgeous, too! The dogs all had fun swimming in the tank and rolling in horse manure before getting bathed and groomed. Em and Kat helped blow dry and brush them all out. Unfortunately, we only got six dogs done, and there are at least 26 dogs out there at the farm. Maybe next week we can do some more.

    Hullo to everyone!!

    Current Mood: cheerful
    Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004
    11:03 am
    Post-Election Blues
    I am wearing black today.

    Current Mood: dismayed
    Monday, April 5th, 2004
    1:23 pm
    Two Months, Five Days, Thirteen Point Two Four Hours . . .
    And still not smoking. Missing my beloved puppy!!!!!
    Monday, March 29th, 2004
    3:48 pm
    Two Days Short . . .
    . . . of two months, and still not smoking. Hair very clean. Wearing new clothes (*gasp!*). Feeling pretty spiff. Also taking a breather from a 100-page service manual that needs to go out for review today, which means I'M GOING TO BE HERE LATE AGAIN!!!! Ah, well. Such is life. At least it pays the ren . . . HEY! It's payin' the MORTGAGE!!!

    Alright, my entry's so full of punctuation that it's starting to look like a very large expletive.

    Seriously, I'm fine, Mayen's great, Goose is still being a closet cat, but he's coming out every once in a while, and what more can one ask, the girls are great--we took 'em to see the new Scooby-Doo movie on Saturday, which they loved, work is great--I submitted my resume for the two open positions, so maybe I won't be a contractor for the rest of my life (on the other hand, those three months off are sure looking pretty yummy right now!). So all is well.
    Wednesday, March 10th, 2004
    1:17 pm
    39 Days, 13:18 Hours . . .
    And still not smoking. Hair needs washing, though did get around to dyeing last week.

    Hurray for spring coming!!!

    Mayen and I have been having lots of fun running around and playing, having friends over to visit, etc. Otherwise, nothing big has been happening. Well, except for the fact that a piece of one of my teeth came off when I was flossing today. Which means a trip to the dentist. Which probably also means a cap. Which then means a big bill. Which then means a shrinking savings account . . . . etc. Nothing you should really have to hear. ;)

    Later!
    Friday, February 20th, 2004
    3:15 pm
    20 Days, 15:15 Hours . . .
    And still not smoking. Hair pretty clean.

    Way too busy week. Leaving early (as in shortly) to go take my pup for a long romp in the wilderness. Then babysitting Em and Kat, then going to sleep for a very long time.

    Would rather have dirty hair and a cigarette in my hand.
    Thursday, February 12th, 2004
    4:08 pm
    11 Days, 16:08 Hours
    And still not smoking. Hair clean.

    Thanks, you guys, for being such a great pep club. It helps!! Certainly makes me smile :)

    So, Ivpiter, I suddenly realized this morning that Saturday is Valentine's Day! Dinner at Applebee's sounds great. I was going to suggest that I make you sushi, but I figured that would go over like a lead balloon. We could spend the day doing home improvements (which I will, actually, be doing), and we could also maybe head over to the Austin Home & Garden Show, if you want. That'd be fun!

    See you guys later. Access to LJ is . . . sporadic. I don't know why the blocking software works sometimes and not others.

    Later!
    Wednesday, February 11th, 2004
    11:35 am
    10 Days, 11:36 Hours
    And still not smoking. Hair needs cleaning.

    I want to point out to those of you who might imagine that quitting smoking gets easier as time passes: this is not the case. In fact, while the cravings -may- become less frequent, they do occur (I'm still getting them constantly, of course--I mean, it's only been a week and a half), and not only do they occur with greater virulence, but they also catch one more by surprise. One's defenses are down. One isn't expecting the vicious hit of the craving as one was in the first few days.

    So the question becomes, am I willing to fight an increasingly difficult battle for the rest of my life?

    Oh yeah. I'm having a great day.
    Monday, February 9th, 2004
    1:26 pm
    8 Days, 13:26 Hours
    Still not smoking. Hair freshly-washed. Bah.
    Friday, February 6th, 2004
    12:51 pm
    5 Days, 12:51 Hours
    And still not smoking. Hair clean again, however. Ok, so I took the darned MB test:

    Introverted (I) 61.76% Extroverted (E) 38.24%
    Imaginative (N) 56.25% Realistic (S) 43.75%
    Emotional (F) 51.52% Intellectual (T) 48.48%
    Organized (J) 53.85% Easygoing (P) 46.15%
    Your type is: INFJ
    [Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<td [...] left">') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

    And still not smoking. Hair clean again, however. Ok, so I took the darned MB test:

    <div align="center"><!--61.76 56.25 51.52 53.85--><img src="http://sminds.com/images/career.gif"> <table style="color: black; background: #eeeeee" border="0" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0"> <tr> <td> <div align="center"> <table style="color: black; background: #dddddd" border="0" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0"> <tr> <td> <div align="center"> Introverted (I) 61.76% Extroverted (E) 38.24%<br> Imaginative (N) 56.25% Realistic (S) 43.75%<br> Emotional (F) 51.52% Intellectual (T) 48.48%<br> Organized (J) 53.85% Easygoing (P) 46.15%<br> </div> </td> </tr> </table> <table style="color: black; background: #eeeeee" border="0" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0"> <tr> <td> <div align="center"> Your type is: <b><font size="+3">INFJ</font></b><br> </div> </td> </tr> </table> <table style="color: black; background: #dddddd" border="0" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tr> <td width="280quot;>> <div align="left"> You are a Guide, possible professions include - career counselor, psychologist, educational consultant, special education teacher, librarian, artist, playwright, novelist/poet, editor/art director, information-graphics, designer, HRM manager, merchandise planner, environmental lawyer, marketer, job analyst, mental health counselor, dietitian/nutritionist, research, educational consultant, architects, interpreter/translator. </div> </td> </tr> </table> </div> </td> </tr> </table> <a href="http://similarminds.com/career.html">Take Free Career Inventory Personality Test</a></div>

    I guess it makes sense, considering that over the past twenty-five years I actually <i>have</i> spent an awful lot of time doing a lot of those things. Well, not the architect. Or the dietician. Or merchandise planner. Or environmental lawyer, or job analyst. But everything else!

    If I were still smoking, I bet my MBI would be much better, though.
    Thursday, February 5th, 2004
    11:11 am
    4 Days, 11:12 Hours
    Still not smoking. Hair clean. Took LotR personality disorders test:

    sam
    Congratulations! You're Sam!


    Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    I bet if I were still smoking, I'd be Gandalf. Or Aragorn. Damn.
    Wednesday, February 4th, 2004
    6:54 pm
    Three Days and 18:54 Hours
    And still not smoking. Hair probably needs cleaning, but I think I'll go into a bit of a slump just for the heck of it.

    Thanks so much everyone for the support! It's really helpful.

    I've only bitten off one person's head at this point, and I hope she'll forgive me, eventually.

    The company I'm working for finally pin pointed LJ as a "chat" site, so I can no longer access it from work. Ah, well. I'm sure I'll be laid off before that becomes too annoying ;)

    Hugs to all!
    Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004
    1:11 pm
    2 Days, 13:11 Hours . . .
    Still not smoking. Hair washed again, however.
    Monday, February 2nd, 2004
    2:33 pm
    1 Day, 14:34 Hours
    Still not smoking. But my hair is washed.
    Friday, December 19th, 2003
    12:54 pm
    Craven Opportunism, Thy Name Is Robert Jordan
    Who knew Robert Jordan would be clever enough to come up with a way to EXTEND the Wheel of Time series besides drawing out what should be a 100-page climax into seven books?!? But the man has exceeded even my estimation of his craven greed: he's come up with the idea of writing PREQUELS!

    See http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0765306298/ref=pd_nfy_nr_b_11/104-9903348-3998357?v=glance&s=books&n=25

    Good grief.
    Wednesday, December 10th, 2003
    1:14 pm
    In Memoriam
    Sad to say, my little girl-cat, Jezabel, died last night after a long bout with an unidentified ailment, but what was probably kidney disease. I need to get all the old photos of her up somewhere, but for the moment you can see rather poor images of her at:

    http://home.austin.rr.com/coulisse/creatures.htm

    She was 14-and-a-half years old, very much a cat, but also very sweet. She -loved- to eat canned food, and she hardly ever spoke, though in later years she finally started talking a little bit in self-defense (my other cat, Goose, is a huge complainer). She loved to cuddle on my lap, even during these last few months when she was so sick. She used to wake me up in the morning by sticking her wet nose in the corner of my eye and snuffling.

    Jez was far more intrepid than Goose; she liked to venture out and say hullo to strangers, though she was never hugely friendly to them. She loved a good chin-scratching, and had the most lovely blue-green eyes I've ever seen. As a kitten, she was the teeniest little powder-puff of a thing, and used to make me laugh for hours with her pouncing antics. She loved treats, but was not real crazy about catnip. She loved bugs, and could spend an hour watching and batting one around. I don't think we ever had a mouse around the house, but I always reckoned she'd be the one to catch it if we did.

    Last night I got home and found her on the bathroom floor, barely hanging on after hemmoraging. So we rushed to the hospital, where it was pretty clear she was in shock and not going to recover; that made it a pretty easy decision to euthanize her. After hugging her and talking to her for a half hour or so, I held her as she was given the injections. Jezzie fell asleep, and then died in my arms, and though it was very difficult to see her go, I do know that we had a very wonderful fourteen years together. Goose and Mayen and I will all miss her sweet presence in our home.

    Sleep well, Jezabel.
    Monday, December 1st, 2003
    1:20 pm
    Thanksgiving
    Yes, it's true: I failed to get any photos of Mayen at 1.5 years old, or the new house, or the new house filled with lovely friends for Thanksgiving feasting. Ah, well. I'll try and take some photos sometime this week.

    Thanksgiving was wonderful. Had Steven and David and Sean and Cassie and Hilary over for dinner: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, salad, carrots, potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie, warm yummy french bread, and a zinfandel that Steven had brought. It was a great meal, though the company was definitely the best part of the day. After we ate, we played poker, which was a total hoot! Hilary's dog, Maya, came with her, so even Mayen had a friend over to play with--and they were hilarious ;)

    I mowed the lawn for the first time Wednesday afternoon, having gotten out of work a couple hours early, and it looks great--wasn't too hard, either, though I did pull every back muscle I own, and am still suffering for that. I'm walking around as though I were 85 years old right now. Friday I putzed around, unpacked a few more things. (Painfully) moved some bookcases into the study, and did some house shopping--a side table for the bedroom, more bedding for the guest room, towels for the guest bath, a couple of down comforters and duvets. Saturday, I finally got around to sealing the kitchen tile backsplash, and that was rather interesting given the state of my back. Also finally handed over my keys to the apartment management, so I'm out of there completely. Sunday I did a little more shopping, this time for some wire baskets to put on the living room coffee table, an iron candelabra, some cobalt blue stoneware, a dining table pad, catfood, etc. I also went to very expensive home store (Provencal) and asked them to price a custom chair with four different tapestry fabrics. I'm thinking something really really comfy and gorgeous for the masterbedroom. Spoke to much of my family over the weekend (and missed every one of them greatly--wish we all still lived in the same city, or even the same state!), and Cyndy and Paul and girls toodled back into town Sunday afternoon--didn't run over to see them, but I prolly will tonight. They had a great trip!

    Today's Monday, and I'm back at work, and very thankful for it. I hope everyone had at least as good a Thanksgiving as I had this year.
    Thursday, November 20th, 2003
    1:49 pm
    I Skipped Class Last Night
    Ok, so I got out of the office at 5:10, and it took me AN HOUR to get to Cyndy's house (it usually only takes about 35 mins) where I needed to say hi to Paul's parents who are visiting, and pick up a bunch of tools from Paul so I could try and get my dryer hooked up. Said hello to everyone, dashed back to the car, and was on my way home by 6:20. Class starts at 6:45. I still needed to get home, walk Mayen, pill Jezabel, feed the cats, get all of Mayen's agility stuff together, load up the car, and head over there. I could do all that, and probably be only 10 minutes or so late, OR I could stop off at the grocery store and get stuff for everyone coming over for dessert tonight, then go home, pill Jez, walk Mayen, feed the cats, and . . . relax. What a concept.

    So guess what I chose to do?

    Despite the tools from Paul, I was still unable to loosen the ground bolt, so I still haven't installed the new four-prong cord. I did bake a pie (ok, so it was a frozen one--but I did bake it!) in preparation for tonight, and sort of started clearing out all the packing materials that I'd accumulated from unpacking, broke down all the boxes, and stuck them in the garage. I am so looking forward to some extended time off so I can really get at some of the projects I need to get done. Yay, Thanksgiving! Yay Christmas!!

    Several good things have happened lately, and a couple of bad things.

    Good Things:
    Slowly but surely getting used to house.
    Didn't have to pay finance charges on a bill I suddenly realized this morning I hadn't paid, because it was a 0% finance charge card!! (Need to check how that works).
    Didn't have to pay late fees on the bill, either, because I had recently lost my credit card, and the company had just replaced it, and they'd waived all fees!
    Sold my old car for TWICE AS MUCH AS IT BLUE-BOOKED FOR!!!! (could not -believe- this one)
    Jezabel is showing a lot more life and alertness
    The new furniture arrives day after tomorrow

    Bad Things:
    Lost my credit card
    House is getting dirty, and I'm not even unpacked
    Can't get my dryer hooked up
    The painters broke my diningroom windowblinds and won't replace them.
    Jez can't stop barfing at least once a day. Catastrophic barfing. YUCH! I'm serious, I may have to put her down just because the barfing is so constant I can't keep up with cleaning it. She's still skinny, and she's not putting on any weight.
    Got a speeding ticket
    Wednesday, November 19th, 2003
    10:51 am
    Decadent Baths and Sealing Tiles
    Finally got to try out the jacuzzi tub last night, with a packet of some kind of bath salts-cum-bubbles. It was certainly rather glorious. Mayen kept racing into the bathroom, checking out the bubbles, tucking her tail between her legs, and racing out again. She was concerned that I was being swallowed up by some sort of bubble monster. Once I got out, however, she kept wanting to get in, which resulted in a) a lot of dirty bathwater (she had a new adventure night before last crawling under the deck on belly and thighs after a soaking rain, and I haven't had time to bathe her properly, yet), and b) a lot of soapy, muddy paw prints documenting her gallop through the house afterwards. I laughed for an hour.

    Still haven't gotten the dryer hooked up properly, since I don't have the tools to get the bolts off the little plate that holds the three-prong cord in so I can install the four-prong cord. But you know, it occurs to me that my dryer is a -gas- dryer, so why am I trying to hook it up to an electrical outlet? I remember when I was first looking at the house I asked about gas hookups, and they were supposed to be there. I'll have to check tonight.

    Tomorrow I'm having Cyndy's in-laws over (together with Cyndy and the girls) for dessert, which means I'll need to bake cookies tonight and stop off at the grocery store for some other hostess-type stuff. I also need to find some invitations for the open house I'm holding on December 13. The furniture should all be in by then, and I'll have no excuse not to have a clean house, either.

    Speaking of clean houses, I called this woman whom Hilary recommended who runs a cleaning service, since I thought it'd be a good idea to have SOMEONE ELSE clean the apartment before I did the check-out with JD. It's not in terrible shape or anything, though they're going to have to tear out the carpet (I hope!) and replace it--the cats, Jez in particular, were really bad about throwing up, and Mayen tore up the rug in two places when she was little. YAY TILE FLOORS AT THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I hate carpet.

    I love little throw carpets that dogs and cats can prettily curl up on, but which can be thrown into the washer when they get dirty.

    Steven's coming over to the house Saturday to hang out whilst I seal the grout in the kitchen backsplash tile, so that'll be nice. This weekend I've also got to shop for T-day food; so far at least five people will be eating at my house! I will have a dining table by then--just no chairs. Hopefully the folding chairs will work.

    It's going to be a while before I have time for photos of the house, I'm afraid. There's just too much to do, and too little time to do it in. By the time I get home at night around 8pm, I can barely get dinner for the zoo, clean up after them, make myself a little something, and get clothes ready for the morning before it's time to crawl into bed.

    Fortunately, I'll have four days off during Thanksgiving, and a full week off the week of Christmas. As well, hopefully, I'll be able to get the 30th-31st off, so I can spend a little time with dad and Lin when they're here for their holiday visit.

    Man, I gotta get that dryer hooked up.
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