Saturday, September 24, 2016

Kitten in the House

When I got back to Oak Ridge, my great-niece texted me asking if I was planning to get a cat. Since I was, I said yes, and then asked if she knew one who needed a home. She did.

Hence Barsa (bars is Russian for "lynx"). Twelve weeks old when she came here, she'd been found in the street with a broken leg by one of Emily's co-workers (they're high school seniors). He took her to the vet, but when he took her home, leg mended (though she sometimes holds it funny when she's lying down) he discovered that his mother was very allergic. So she's with me now, a delightful bundle of fur with horrible sharp kitten teeth. She spent the first few days hiding, but now she's out and about and playing unless a stranger's in the house.

Some pictures (of course!):


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At 6:54 PM, September 24, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

What a little sweetheart!

(Although I know what you mean about those little needle-sharp kitten teeth).

 

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I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

Any rumors of my demise are premature.

However, moving is not for the faint of heart. Also, it's a massive time-suck.

A quick overview of the process (pics at the bottom of the post):

Spent a couple of weeks sorting and deciding what not to take. Had a walk-through by the company rep to give me an estimate (couple of them; I went with Ace Relocation Systems, part of Atlas Van Lines). Hired a company - TurboHaul - to come and take away a lot of the stuff I wasn't moving, like some 30-year-old chairs and a sofa older than that. They were great, fast and efficient.

Then moving day. I had gotten a room at a hotel for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights. The customer rep for Ace thought it would take two days - well, one and a half - one to box up everything* and one to load the truck. But when the driver showed up Monday morning he looked around the post-TurboHaul apartment and said he figured they could do it all in one day "if that's okay". Yes, well, it was.

And they did. He had a local crew of two people and they were packing demons. They had the whole apartment boxed or packed and loaded onto the U-Haul truck (there was no way to get an 18-wheel rig around the back of my apartment complex, so they used the U-Haul to ferry from the apartment to the semi) in 6 hours. Delivery was set up for Saturday morning. I went to the hotel and crashed.

Next day TurboHaul came back (fortunately they were able to reschedule) and took everything left in the apartment. They even cleaned out the fridge! I had decided not to take my old sleeper sofa - Gwen's one bad habit was clawing at that sofa, and reupholstering it would have cost more than replacing it, plus the movers charge by weight and sleeper sofas are heavy! So that had to go, too. When they were done the apartment was bare. I dropped off the keys and a check to cover final cleaning** and went to dinner with a good friend whom I'll really miss (but we'll see each other in NYC a few times over the season). Then to the hotel and bed.

Wednesday morning I got up and left at 8. Stopped for breakfast and hit the road. Traffic to I66 was bad, of course, but never terrible, and once I got on 66 it was clear sailing (since I was leaving the city). Stopped once for lunch and then for the night in Salem, Virginia. My days of driving straight through are done, even if all the 70mph stretches have cut the trip from 11 to 9 hours. Thursday I got breakfast in Salem and hit the road by 8. I was home by 11.

Friday I went over to Harvey's and bought a new sleeper sofa and a chair and ordered bookshelves. They delivered that afternoon, and weren't able to get the sofa through the door of the guest room/office. Fortunately, the old one in the living room would fit, so the new one's out there. Had lunch with my sister Laura and later went and bought a little dogwood to replace the one that I'd bought last fall. Actually,  the nursery didn't charge since the other one had been planted less than a year ago, so that was nice.

The driver had called me Thursday to ask if a Sunday delivery would be okay; his truck was in the shop and they'd told him he could get it on Friday. I said that was fine, so bright and early (well, 8:30) on Sunday he inched his semi up Outer Drive, trying not to take down any of the wires crossing the street. He and his local team of unloaders worked really quickly unloading, too. They put the boxes where I wanted them with (so far) only one exception - a box of dvds that ended up among the books. They also put the bed back together in the spare room, set up the chests, and were done in about three hours, maybe less. Neat, fast, careful.

My sister Molly and her daughter Krista had come over to help. Molly and I built a desk that afternoon. Pro tip: don't buy furniture from Staples. That damned desk took almost four hours to assemble, though it does look good. Krista put the chair together - took her about five minutes! She also unpacked a lot of dishes while Molly and I were struggling with the desk.

So... then came my part. Three weeks of unpacking a little bit every day and I'm not done. Nearly so, except for the bulk of the books which will have to wait until the shelves arrive. But all the dvds are unpacked and shelved, and all the cds are unpacked and in their new chests. Which Molly and I put together last weekend. The first one took about two hours, but the other two took slightly less both together.

I also got a new kitten - there'll be a post about her.

I think I'm basically settled. Been having lunch with my brother and one sister every Thursday, and sometimes, depending on their schedules, the other sister and my niece come, too.

With luck, things will continue to go smoothly. OPM has been very fast with the pension, and that's all sorted and regularized. TSP was very fast with sending me that money (I feared the worst when they wanted the form faxed), which was very good since that payed for the move, the new furniture, and all the little nitnoy things I had to pick up for the house.

So: tl;dr - I'm in Tennessee and basically moved in! Hoping that things settle down now, and feeling very good about it all.

* Yes, I suppose I could have done it all myself with some friends. But I didn't want to. I prefer to pay people to do things so they're done right and fast. I know I couldn't have packed up a U-Haul truck in half a day.

** See above

The back spare room with the chests I brought from Maryland

Barsa on top of boxes in the kitchen (the flats are left over from packing stuff out of this house). Wine was unpacked very nearly first, of course.

The spare room with the bed I brought from Maryland - board games and light reading on the shelves, also brought from Maryland

Boxes in the living room. Note the Christmas mantelpiece is still up...

The new chest in the front hallway, stuffed with cds

The new sleeper sofa (with boxes)

The devil desk

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Goodbye, Pat

Pat Summitt has died. She was the winningest Division 1 coach ever, male or female. She was a class act through and through. She will be greatly missed.

Here's her obit in the New York Times.

And here's a video from WBIR, a Knoxville station.

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At 2:14 AM, August 12, 2016 Anonymous Adam had this to say...

Rest in peace to the greatest women's basketball coach ever!!! You will be missed

 

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Week in Entertainment

DVD: Finished Grantchester season 2. I have decided that I really, really dislike Geordie. Really. Wallander season 4, the last one. They really did a fine job transferring those novels to film. Sad ending but oddly pleasing as well. Hail Caesar, which I wanted to see in the theater but never quite managed to. I liked it a lot. A whole lot.

Read: A Study in Charlotte, an excellent YA novel. Boar Island, the latest Anna Pigeon novel, pretty good. Began Lud-in-the-Mist, which I never read before though I'm not sure how I missed it.

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

"The best we can do"

"The best we can [do is] to pray for the father and husband so he can work through this."

That’s what the sheriff said about a woman who shot and killed her daughters during a family argument.

She was apparently nice and cheerful and all the neighbors are shocked. However, deputies had been dispatched to the house on several occasions before this. But the gun stayed.

And now three women are dead and a man is hospitalized  (though not shot).

But prayers are the best the sheriff has.

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At 6:52 PM, June 26, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Sometimes requesting thoughts and prayers may be a euphemism for saying leave the *bleep* alone those who don't want to be contacted at a difficult time.

Not unlike the Southernism "Bless your heart," which doesn't mean that at
all.

 

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Monday, June 20, 2016

No, Miss Manners, that's not it

In a recent Miss Manners column, the reader says
When given devastating news, such as learning that a friend has Stage 4 cancer, my first thought is to say, “You will be in my prayers.’’

But if a friend is not of the same religious beliefs or is an atheist, this is not always appreciated. Is there another way of letting them know this?
I'm a little bit curious about that "this" that she wants others to know. I presume she means that she cares about them, but I can't really tell from the letter, where it sounds like she wants "another way" to let them know her first thought, which is to pray for them. However, I'm really writing this because Miss Manners manages to say that atheists ought be to be okay with that. Specifically, she says
"Miss Manners would think that a nonreligious person could appreciate a religious person’s seeking the solace in which he or she believes."
O fer... Sure. I'm happy if someone praying gets solace from it. The thing is, it's supposed to make me feel better that they're praying for me. That's why they tell me. That's what they're doing "for me" in my time of Stage 4 cancer. They're praying. They're not offering to bring food, or drive me to my chemo treatment, or take my dog for a walk, or cut my grass, or do my shopping, or look after my kids for an afternoon, or do my laundry.* They're praying.

And that's useless to me. And it's selfish of them. And yet I'm supposed to thank them for it.

I don't generally snark at it, but it doesn't do anything to give me solace.

*When I had cancer, it wasn't Stage 4, and I had neither kids nor a dog. But trust me: there was a big difference between the (very religious, by the way) coworker who showed up to drive me to chemo every three weeks and the ones who sent me cards praying for me.


2 Comments:

At 9:28 PM, June 21, 2016 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

Exactly. Talk and prayers are cheap, but that's about the extent of care that lots of people are willing to provide.

 
At 1:21 AM, July 31, 2016 Anonymous Richard had this to say...

Caring About someone can be expressed in different ways. I don't think it's like keeping him in prayer! it's like keeping in in his/her mind! This is great! ... The empathy for others , whatever the form, is important! ... And if Someone is atheist , why should he or she think that it is about particular religion? When you know that the particular religious person is important ! not the belief!

 

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Week in Entertainment

Somehow I scheduled this for the wrong day, so it's two weeks in one...

Live: Love Letters, which was a lovely, touching play.

Film: The Man Who Knew Infinity - a wonderful, brilliant movie. Terrific performances by Dev Patel (what a gifted actor he is!) and Jeremy Irons both. Lovely script. Highly recommended. Finding Dory, very enjoyable plus there was one moment where I actually teared up.

DVD: More Columbo. Some of Father Brown's third season. Some of Grantchester's second - does anyone actually like Geordie?

Read: The Man Who Knew Infinity, a very engaging biography. Dipped into Neil Gaiman's View from the Cheap Seats, which is collected nonfiction. One of them was a little intro essay for Diana Wynne Jones's Dogsbody, which led me to reread that and then move on the Eight Days of Luke, Fire and Hemlock, and Aunt Maria and then to two I had somehow missed before, Enchanted Glass and The Time of the Ghost.

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At 11:28 AM, June 20, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Well, the actor who PLAYS Geordie is kinda hot :-)

Last night we enjoyed the PBS trifecta: series finale of "Vicious," new series of "Endeavour," and a multi-parter called "The Tunnel" which opens with a victim found at the midway point in the Chunnel (won't give away any spoilers).

 
At 11:46 AM, June 20, 2016 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

I really went off Endeavour in the last season - all that murky Mason conspiracy, etc. Is season 3 good? Should I watch it?

Isn't The Tunnel a remake of The Bridge?

 
At 3:27 PM, June 20, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Yes, they said in the after-sequence to episode 1 that "The Tunnel" is an Anglo-French remake of "The Bridge" (never saw the original, however).

"Endeavour" 3.1 had nothing to do with Freemasonry (at least so as I could tell!) -- instead re the idle rich and carnies. Don't know yet re the rest of season 3.

 

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Reposted without comment

From Fred:

The New Yorker reached into its archives and resurrected this February 1996 piece from Henry Louis Gates: “Hating Hillary.” It is dismayingly timely.

Since 2008, I’ve dreaded that the 2016 campaign would see all this noxious stew resurrected and recirculated by those credulous or ignorant enough to think that Whitewater was a political scandal rather than a journalistic one. Remembering all the sleaze that Scaife et. al. were capable of fabricating pre-Citizens United, I wasn’t looking forward to what they could do with unlimited dark money at their disposal. The surprising — and deeply disappointing — thing turned out to be seeing so much of that sleaze recirculated by self-proclaimed “progressives” only a few years older themselves than that essay by Skip Gates. Rule-of-thumb: If you’re parroting 20-year-old lies from the Scaife Foundation, you’re probably not being “revolutionary.”

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At 2:17 PM, June 17, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Scaife is dead, and his survivors are at one another's throats in court over his estate.

 

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I know, but still

I know that companies don't want to/can't afford to hire enough people to answer their phones and deal with the things a phone menu can deal with.

I know that they don't want an upfront option for getting to a person - that defeats having the phone menu in the first place.

But if the "key code" is not on my bill, I don't care now many times the robot lady tells me to look for it and type it in. I can't do that. I need a human.

And I hate how long it takes to get that message through.

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