Cats are Strange

I’m sure the cat-owned out there read the title and thought “Well duh. Thank you Captain Obvious!” This post isn’t for you. Instead, it’s for those who haven’t had the, ahem, joy, of being cat-owned.

That’s right, cat-owned. The cat owns you, not the other way around as I was naive to think when I first got Andromeda. She has graced you with her presence and, in return, you get to feed her, clean up after her, and maybe, just maybe, pet her.

So how are cats strange? I think a few of the things my cat does are great examples. After all, how can you not be strange if your idea of fun in the morning is to do figure-8s between my legs while I prepare your breakfast — a disgusting looking mush of an unidentified nature. It’s supposedly good unidentified mush, but how can she possibly be that excited to eat this?

After breakfast she likes to, for no apparent reason, get a nice run in. She’ll start doing laps of the apartment, stopping only to look at me and meow every now and again. Once she tires of that, she might hop up onto the DVD cabinet. After meowing to get my attention, she’ll begin to chase her tail. I never knew cats chased their tails!

I think overall it’s the seeming randomness of their actions which has me wondering. Maybe it’s just because I have a kitten, but Andromeda can go from sleeping to running circles, to jumping into the sink and then back to sleep all in the span of around 10 minutes. I’m just left shaking my head and muttering ‘fricken cat’ under my breath; however, it does keep life interesting and in the end, I think that’s all that matters.

Personality Type

After seeing this on a few blogs, I figured it was my turn. I don’t really know how true this is of me, but it could be when I answered the questions I was fooling myself. I suppose this is the problem with most of these self-taken personality tests; you really need a third party to take them for you.


You Are An INTP

The Thinker
You are analytical and logical – and on a quest to learn everything you can.Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.

Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.

A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.

In love, you are an easy person to fall for. But not an easy person to stay in love with.

Although you are quite flexible, you often come off as aloof or argumentative.

At work, you are both a logical and creative thinker. You are great at solving problems.

You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.

How you see yourself: Creative, fair, and tough-minded

When other people don’t get you, they see you as: arrogant, cold, and robotic

What’s Your Personality Type?

Verbal Diarrhea

This morning I’ve been browsing the Amazon and Barnes and Noble music stores. I’m on a quest of sorts; I found Within Temptation, Lacuna Coil, and Nightwish and I like what I hear. Now I just need more! But that’s not what this post is about. I’ve been reading a lot of user reviews, and quite frankly, it has gotten annoying. Is it asking too much to at least use proper spelling? Maybe I’m a spoiled Mac user, but even if my browser didn’t underline misspelled words, I’d look up those I was unsure of. Proper punctuation would be nice too. Perhaps just a comma or period now and again to break up the monotony? I refuse to become a grammar nazi. When it comes to making stupid mistakes, run-ons, and general bad writing, I’m guilty as charged. However, some of the verbal diarrhea I’ve read — gushing non-punctuated, non-spellchecked reviews — makes me want to vomit. What good is a glowing review of a band if I can’t understand the words you wrote? What good are recommendations of other bands if you can’t be bothered to spell names correctly? Evanescence is a good example; if I’d never heard of them I’d be in trouble if I searched solely on the spelling in a number of reviews.

The moral of the story? I don’t expect formal essays when you write a review. I do want to see intelligible comments, which I don’t have to read five times to understand what was written. Abbreviations such as “u” and “r” are fine in real time chat or text messages, but not in a paragraph out there for the whole world to see. Whenever I make an obvious blunder, I’m embarrassed. I just wish other people would take some pride in what they write, because you never know who is reading it.

Andromeda

It’s a galaxy. She also happens to be my kitten. I adopted her in August after she was abandoned by her mother outside the building at work. We first spotted the kittens and their mother around June. We started to leave food out for them and gradually we saw them more often, though they still ran away if a human got too close. A couple months later we started seeing the kittens alone, without mom. We continued to leave food out for them and made our presence known more often. Gradually, over time, we were able to get close without causing them to run away.

At that point we decided to try and catch them. The first one caught was, if memory serves, a female called Cosmo (though she got another name when her adoptive ‘parents’ too her home). If I recall correctly, she was adopted by a person in another department. Next up was Lily, named after Lily Potter. She went home with Margot, the library assistant.

Finally came the day when we saw Andromeda outside by the door. Margot and I went outside and gradually coaxed her out of the bushes. She let us grab her and hold her without putting up much of a fight. I think she’d reached the stage where she was curious about everything, so we brought her inside and put her in a cage in a vacant office until I could arrange a visit to the vet. I wanted to have her checked out before I brought her home for the first time. She took to using a litter box fairly well; although we did discover she didn’t like the pine pellet litter.

She checked out fine at the vet and got her first round of shots. Then I took her home. She spent the first day or so huddled up in the bathroom. She seemed very nervous; though when I sat in the bathroom she crawled up to me to cuddle. Gradually she got used to living in my apartment and seems to have finally grown fond of living with me. She’s also grown in general. When I took her to the vet for the first time she weighed just over three pounds. In fact, she used to be small enough to walk around my neck and shoulders with ease. At the last vet visit a few weeks ago, she was over five pounds, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s over six by now. She’s also a bit too big to stand on my shoulders now, though she doesn’t mind being worn as a scarf.

Andromeda is a hyperactive monster, and I wouldn’t have her any other way. She’s also a cuddle bug and loves to snuggle up in my lap or on the couch next to me when I get home from work. She goes absolutely ballistic about her mouse toys. I can throw it for her and she’ll chase after it and bring it right back to me. I’m glad I got her when I did as I fear if we’d been later, it would have been too late to ‘mold’ her into a good house pet. You can see a few pictures of her over in the sidebar on the right, the full gallery can be found on my Flickr account.

As a side note, I was very hesitant to get a cat. The primary reason is that I’m allergic to cats. Thankfully, modern medicine has made that less of an issue. The other reason was responsibility. It was a big step for me to be responsible for another life, but I’ve progressed nicely. I’m looking forward to spending many years with Andromeda (named by one of our faculty, but I liked the name so I stuck with it — I call her Rommie for short after the Andromeda Ascendant; yes I’m a sci-fi geek). I think she made a wonderful addition to my life.

Changes Gallore!

If you actually visited my old site previously, you might have noticed things have changed. Last year I started an effort to consolidate my myriad of websites into one WordPress blog. Well, I never actually finished, but I’ve reached the point where I’m almost willing to throw out what I haven’t already moved.

My reasoning is that I have entirely too much random stuff in my life to keep me busy these days. Thus, I have no time to maintain all this crap (and let’s not beat around the bush — it *is* crap that has no meaning to anyone but me and perhaps a few friends). So, I’m going to make this live. I’ve got everything I care about either imported or linked to for the time being.

I think I’m going to kill off MessyDesks. That was a funny idea back when I created it, but it hasn’t been touched in over six years, and I don’t think it will be in the foreseeable future. I also intend to eventually move my gallery over to either Flickr or Picasa at some point. I’ve moved this blog over to WordPress.com so I don’t have to worry about maintaining the software. You might wonder why bother with wordpress at all? Well, as you saw on my previous websites, I am not a web designer by any stretch of the imagination. While I’ve done some stuff in Dreamweaver and had it look presentable, I’d much rather worry about the content. A CMS, such as WordPress, lets me forget about the site management aspect and worry about throwing my guts out there for you to laugh at (or with!).

So here it is. This is me. I intend to make a few more posts to bring folks up to date with my life. If you’re really that fascinated with me, stay tuned!

That sounded like an accident…

Ok, so I’m visiting Keith to see the kitten he adopted, and in the late evening we’re watching tv and hear tires screech and a loud bang! “That sounded like an accident in the parking lot,” I said. But we knew that it was a bit loud to be car vs. car and would probably not have made the building shake like it did. We walk out onto his balcony and there’s this VW, over the curb and touching the building right at the entrance to the apartment. We ran downstairs to discover that his front door was jammed shut. The car had hit the facia of the building to the side of the door, which moved the framework around the door such that the latch in the doorknob was unable to clear the frame. We were stuck.

To top it all off, my car was parked in the spot right next to the one the driver of the VW was attempting to park in. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but the rear driver side corner of the car was resting on the front passenger side of my car. I wanted to go down and take a look, but I was stuck (and I wasn’t about to jump for it). I called the police since the driver’s husband didn’t seem particular interested in calling. While waiting, this idiot gets in the car and starts to back up! Uh, fucktard, don’t move your car until I can get my car out of the way so that you don’t do any more damage to it! I yelled at the guy to wait until the police got here because a) I didn’t want him doing any more damage to my car and b) I wanted the police to see things the way they were.

A South Brunswick police office showed up around 10 minutes later (I had called their main number and not 911 as no one was injured so they didn’t dispatch it as an emergency). After he got the rundown of the situation he asked if it was OK to move my car so they could move the VW out of the way. I tossed him my keys (yeah, I’m very trusting) and he moved my car. From what I could see from the balcony, it looked like there wasn’t any major damage to my car. The VW on the other hand had quite a bit more damage. It’s hood was dented downward a bit, the front fascia was cracked, sidemarker was shattered, and a cooling line (or maybe the radiator itself) was punctured and was leaking coolant. To play it safe, the officer radioed for a township inspector to come out before anyone tried to force the door open, just in case there was structural damage.

So, Keith and I were standing there, waiting for the inspector to show, all the while the officer is going over the usual paperwork that’s involved in an accident. The story from the person driving the VW was that she was attempting to park the vehicle and her foot slipped off the brake right onto the gas pedal. The officer left me a copy of the report number for pickup and issued a citation to the lady for careless driving. While we were waiting the property manager showed up, as did the maintenance guy. When the officer had finished his report he left, leaving us to wait for the inspector to show around 15 minutes later. He took a look and gave the ok for forcing the door open as most of the damage was in the fascia of the building and some of the framing around the door (but nothing that apparently was load bearing).

Once I was finally able to get outside I walked over to my car to get a better look at the damage. The most obvious issue was the edge of the bumper popped a little lose as a clip came out. There was a small dent in sheetmetal, scrapes in the paint, and several abrasions in my headlight/sidemarker assembly. Overall, not much damage, but to say I’m fucking pissed doesn’t quite cover it as I haven’t even had the car for four months. Oh well, I’ll deal with the insurance company on Monday and work to get it fixed (on their dime) as soon as possible. As for the building, the property maintenance guy was able to beat the frame into submission enough to “secure” the door with a new lock (had to destroy the old one to get it open). That will hopefully get a better fix during the week, as that’s going to require some framing and reattaching the brickwork back to the front of the building.
I’ll also try and post some pictures sooner or later.

Welcome

Welcome to the new and uh… well… I’m not going to lie. It’s not particularly improved, at least not at the moment. I decided that henceforth I would integrate my myriad of websites into one large WordPress site. Mainly because I want to try and get a consistent look and feel between sites, but also I’d like to have more crosslinking between the pages. So you come here via messydesks or my gallery, and you see other stuff I’m interested in. Call it a way to strike up conversation :)

Well… maybe not conversation as of yet. I don’t have comments turned on, but will eventually. First, I want to get most of the content from the previous sites into WordPress. This is proving to be a challenge. Each website was built in a different editor (Netscape, Dreamweaver, Vim), at different times, so they’re all formatted differently. Then WordPress attempts to format the pages as it sees fit, which makes things a bit of a mess. I think I’ve got the hardest of the pages in, though. I also want to consolidate a little bit. For instance, I want to take my Grand Prix pictures and toss them into Gallery, as it’s silly to reinvent the wheel and have a standalone Pictures page for that now.

Messydesks is going to be a whole other beast. Most of that code should be copy and paste as it was written in a text editor. However, the whole website is php driven, and really, was one of my first forays into using php+mysql. However, I don’t think it’ll be particularly difficult to get that into the WordPress site, as it’s mostly text with just one image per page.

So stay tuned. Once I’ve gotten things to a point where I want the world to see it, I’ll replace my current site at http://www.thegovernment.net with this one.