Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Recent Health Issues

We've been dealing with some health issues in our family recently, and for once it's not me.  First up, our cat Basil, and next is my wife Kate.

20161210_202904A few weeks ago Basil took a pee on the carpet beside my desk chair.  My wife got it cleaned up quickly and we kept an eye on him.  A week later he peed again behind my desk chair.  Okay, time to make an appointment with a veterinarian, we suspected he had a urinary tract infection and would need an antibiotic.  My wife found a nearby clinic and made an appointment.  On the day and on the way to that appointment he got so scared he peed into the towel in the cat carrier, useless for lab tests.  They sent her home with a small, expensive packet of water resistant litter and a kit to get a pee sample.  We had to get a little box for that litter, separate the cats and get Basil to pee in the new box with a small amount of strange litter in it.  Simple task, right?

Twice we kept Basil in the basement all day and twice he was out when we got home.  Both times with his brother Hamish's help, we're sure, one to unlatch the weak-latching door and the other to push the door, two cases of soda and a litter box out just far enough to squeeze through.  We were never going to get a sample like this.  Or if we did force it to work they'd be traumatized more than they'd already been.  In the meantime, every few days he would pee on the carpet again and we would scrub it up if we could find it.  Thankfully it was nice enough out that we could open the window some and air it out, too.

20161210_202935Finally, we arranged to take him in to the vet clinic and leave him until either he peed or they could extract a sample to verify the UTI.  It didn't take more than a couple hours, and even then he peed in fright not knowing those humans, but they were able to confirm the infection and issued antibiotics.  He's been on them for several days now and thankfully he seems to feel better.  He was pretty upset and hissy with Kate for a day or so after dropping him off, he blamed her and he let her know it.  I'll wait a few more days to be sure and then rent a carpet cleaner this weekend.

As for my wife, well, she's had ongoing issues for years and had surgery to correct this last week.  She said she doesn't mind what I say here, but I have my reservations.  I've had my own surgeries - 3 since I started this blog - and told my stories here but I don't feel her story is for me to tell.  Just know that she is doing very well.  Her post-surgery pain is less than she had before and she is raring to go - having taken zero of her prescribed painkillers.  She will be off work for some time yet so I think her biggest problems will be dealing with boredom and holding herself to her temporary limitations.  She is pictured in the bottom right of the pictures above, the back of her shoulder anyway.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Plant Day II

DSCF5588Two weeks after buying and potting several flowering plants we went and got some more.  Several seen here on the steps, a flowering bush to replace the sickly peony on the edge of the stump area, and sage and parsley plants for the garden that are not shown here.

Another pictorial tour taken after planting is over at the garden blog, if you wish to visit.  Also, I got the bat house up on the back of the garage.  No bats yet, but it is early and I am hopeful.


It's been a little busy around here lately so I haven't been posting much.  I will write about it soon, but for today let it be about the plants and our little part of the outdoors.  Today is another beautiful day - after more cool and rainy weather recently.  I should be doing something outside rather than typing on a computer inside.  I like how our yard has been evolving over the last several years, and I look forward to watching this year's plants grow, bloom and thrive.  Thanks for coming along.  Again, an up to date picture tour is here.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Plant Day!

DSCF5548Today was the spring day I went plant shopping.  We had a lot of pots to fill and I think I filled them well.  It was overcast with sprinkles this morning, perfect weather to beat the crowds so I got going early.  By midday it was sunny and beautiful outside so I'm sure the amateur gardeners were out in droves, crowding the plant stores and making it hard to move about and causing long lines at the cash registers.

I didn't really have a plan when I set out, just an idea of how many pots I had.  I tried to get plants that tolerate full sun and that looked nice to me.  I did get one for part shade by accident, I put it on the front step behind the front flower pot.  The front is the north side of the house so it should do well there.  This afternoon Kate and I went and got a couple hanging baskets, too, one for front and one for back.  We may still get more plants, there is still some space in the flowerbeds in back, we want to look at perennials to replace tulips on one or both sides of the front stoop and we still have planting to do in the garden.

This was really the first spring day that we could have all the windows open all day and enjoy the beautiful weather.  But that also means summer is right around the corner, and Tuesday is supposed to be the first day in the 80's F.  I always hope to keep the windows open but before you know it it's just too hot.  Oh well, we'll all - cats included - enjoy open windows while we can.

I'll take more pictures and post another yard and garden photo tour soon, possibly tomorrow, over at the garden blog.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Latest Listening Pleasure 26 - Dementia

In high school I had friends (yes, not many but some!) who either played instruments, had longer hair, enjoyed the same kind of music that I did or any combination of the above.  I'm still friends with some, and I've written about them here, while others have faded or pushed away.  One of my good friends from then, Mike, even lived with me for a while after high school.  Otherwise we still seemed to get together somewhat regularly, driving to and fro.  He continued to school an hour or two away but got hooked up with a band, Syrys, if I remember correctly.  School fell by the wayside for him as it did for me, but he was doing what he loved.  Eventually the band left small town Wisconsin and moved to a house in Chicago to seriously pursue music.  It was after that move the band, now named Dementia, put out an album called Recuperate From Reality.  Getting that album out was a great accomplishment.  That the album was recently re-released by an independent label is a wonderful recognition and validation of their efforts.  Too bad some of those involved sought more so it is just the one cd instead of a box set.  The 3-cd box set that it should have been would have been a better tribute - if they all could have agreed on things.  It's all in the past, this should be nothing more than a celebration of that past.  One would hope that would be the only motivation, but it seems not because only the one cd got re-released.

Mike, Skylar and Brian
Mike contacted me recently to let me know about the re-release and I ordered it immediately.  The album, Recuperate From Reality, was released in 1991 on Tombstone records, the re-release is available under these blue words.  A few days later he sent me a link to a YouTube video of Dementia playing at the Avalon in Chicago.  (He also emailed me a picture of me and him at least 25 years ago.  I was shirtless, tanned and skinny.  No, I will not post it.)  Unfortunately, I don't think the band lasted much longer after this show.  I believe both Skylar and Brian went to the west coast, I think separately.  Mike followed his own career path, too, and wound up in Michigan.  They had several bass players over the years, and one interesting fact is they once had a bass player named Matt Snell who more recently played with Five Finger Death Punch.  He appears on the last two tracks of the re-release, songs that weren't on the original CD.

I've heard this so much and knew all the guys (well, not all the bass players) so it's hard for me to be objective.  These were the times in the early nineties.  We were young and having loads of fun, probably lucky to have survived it at times.  But being close to it and having it and hearing it for so long, I can't tell, is it dated?  I don't think so, or maybe it's the production.  No matter, it will always remain a favorite in my collection.

Previous LLP Posts...
LLP 1 - Pain
LLP 2 - Nightwish
LLP 3 - Die Antwoord
LLP 4 - Pain part 2
LLP 5 - Andrew Bird LIVE
LLP 6 - Nightwish part 2
LLP 7 - Paramore
LLP 8 - Newsted
LLP 10 - Nightwish Imaginaerum Movie
LLP 11 - Kiss
LLP 12 - Rick Springfield
LLP 13 - Hyrax
LLP 14 - In This Moment
LLP 15 - Faster Pussycat LIVE
LLP 16 - Sebastian Bach
LLP 17 - Cradle Of Thorns
LLP 18 - Amaranthe
LLP 19 - Lindemann
LLP 20 - Halestorm
LLP 21 - Garbage LIVE
LLP 22 - Arcade
LLP 23 - Nightwish LIVE
LLP 24 - Ace Frehley
LLP 25 - Darkc3ll
LLP 26 - Dementia

A YouTube video of the whole 1991 album audio is after the break.

Friday, May 5, 2017

May The Fifth Be With You

Happy Friday!

Thanks Jonco!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

May The Fourth Be With You

For all you Star Wars geeks, here's the Star Wars Holiday Special that you all want to forget.

I do remember watching this on television in 1978 - and it was never to be re-aired.   (Of course I also remember seeing the original movie in the theater with my friends back in 1977.  I remember playing with imaginary light sabers, acting out the scenes with my friends behind the Dixon theater waiting for one or our parents to come pick us up, several times we went.)  I liked the original trilogy as a youngster, but the newer ones I've not really seen much of, except for the one with the original characters back.  And then I only got it for us to watch as a nostalgic novelty.  I'm just not into this kind of thing anymore but I thought posting this today might be somewhat original and funny.  Well, we all like what we like so whatever it is you may as well let your geek flag fly high!