Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hot! Hot! Hot!

And I don’t mean in a good, Bend It Like Beckham end credits way.

Hot. It’s been hot lately. We’ve had a week, at least, in the high 90’s, with a boatload of humidity on top of that. Topped off by yesterday and today in the low 100’s, and that same humidity making it even more fun. Heat lndex readings between 110 and 120, if you’re into heat indexes.

So I suppose it wasn’t too surprising that the heat played a part in my dreams last night, including one scene at my tedious contract attorney job. In the dream, I arrived at work in late morning, as usual, but there wasn’t anyone around. Apparently the folks from BigLawFirm had come through bright and early to announce that everything had settled and the project was over and we didn’t need to come back ever again. However, because they didn’t tell us before today, we were of course welcome to stay as long as we wanted today and be paid for our time on-site. On the other hand, since the project was over, there clearly was no need for them to leave the air conditioning on, so they turned it off. (This in a room that gets stuffy in five minutes without air conditioning if it’s cloudy and the outside temperature is 75.) No wonder there was no one around.

And when I related the dream to people at work today, they all agreed that the same-day announcement of the project’s closing and simultaneously turning off the air conditioning on the hottest day of the year sounded exactly like what they’ll do to us.

Ah, well. One thing you can do when it’s hot outside is to plan winter vacations to chilly climes, and I just found out last night that I’ll be spending this Christmas in Colorado Springs, attending my father’s wedding. Colorado. Snow. Mountains. Cool weather. Can’t wait.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Google Moon - Lunar Landing Sites.

Google continues to come up with fascinating little additions to their various research sites. About a month ago, they added the rest of the world to their Google maps database, so you can now look at both maps and satellite photos around the world. More recently, they've added a scale to the screen, and today they've taken moon photographs and put them against the Google maps interface. In honor of the anniversary of the first moon landing, they've put all the moon landings onto a single map. Make sure you zoom in all the way for the fine details.

Monday, July 18, 2005

On a roll.

Ah, coincidence. When I find a topic, I stick to it.

On my way home from work this evening, I stopped at a light immediately behind someone who had an affinity group license plate, and one which I think definitely falls into the group of plates for which there's no actual need: a plate celebrating membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Well, presumably great-grandsons. The plate comes complete with a Confederate battle flag on it. (Technically, I suppose it's the emblem of the SCV, but 95% of that is the Confederate battle flag, and you'd have to be within two feet of the plate to see any distinction.) And, in theory at least, you have to prove membership in the SCV to get the plate, although I imagine that membership in the Klan would work just as well.

To provide additional evidence where, really, none was needed, the bumper stickers on the car made it abundantly clear that the car's owner would relish a return to the days of slavery and white supremacy.

Gah. It makes the other dopey affinity plates - such as the proposed plate celebrating Secretariat's Triple Crown achievement (although I have to admit that I am unaware of any Virginia connection to the horse) or the proposed "Friends of Tibet" plate, among others - a lot more reasonable in comparison.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Time for a new license plate.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has come up with a new affinity group license plate: one for Virginia wineries. It's not yet officially available, as 350 such plates need to be paid for before they have the State Pen stamp them out. But soon, presumably.

This is not a worse subject for an affinity group license plate than Penn State alumni, fox hunting, or Parrotheads. And certainly far better than the original "autumn leaves" plate, which served to camouflage the numbers and letters on the plate quite effectively.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

John's Home for Wayward Cats is CLOSED.

It’s Graduation Day at the Home for Wayward Cats. The last of the kittens went to her new home Thursday night, and the Mama Cat went to hers on Friday.

I’m happy to have had them around, and happier that they’ve all gone to homes where they’ll be beloved pets. Certainly a far better fate than they’d have had if they’d been born under an azalea bush.

The Class of 2005:

Ladybug. AKA Mama Cat, Outdoor Cat. (And “Head Alien” to Mia.) The Matriarch. Thirteen full weeks in the Home. Very sweet kitty.

Flower. Named after the skunk in Bambi. Reunited with his mother last night, after already being in their new home for three weeks.

Jiffy. The most intrepid explorer of the group. Named after the peanut butter. (He looks “just like” the new owner’s previous cat, who was named Skippy.)

Molly. The most frightened of the group. Now in a home with four children, so she’ll get plenty of loving and attention. Whether she wants it or not.

Stormy. Because it was stormy the first night she was at her new home. Also known as "Mouse" because of the way she sits up with her two paws together, and up close to her mouth, like a mouse. The first to purr, and the one most willing to be held.

Updated August 12, to add her new name.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Mia informs me

... that we are now only one away from the optimum number of cats in the household.

The last kitten went to its new home tonight. Mama Cat is still recovering from her surgery, and will probably go to her new home over the weekend.

Mia is planning a party.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A two-day pass.
The Outdoor Cat is enjoying a couple of days away from her prison. Well, perhaps "enjoying" isn’t quite the correct word. She’s off at the Animal Hospital, being spayed.

And she certainly didn’t enjoy the preliminaries – the removal of food by 9 p.m. the evening before surgery, and the car ride over. She started looking for dry food snacks around 3 a.m., and let me know that she couldn’t find any, and registered a louder protest when wet food wasn’t provided to her at 7 a.m.

She saved the strongest protest and accompanying struggle for being put into the cat carrier (a five-minute process) and the car ride to the vet. She seems to view all car rides as possibly ending up at The Pound, or more likely the rendering plant, and she kept up enough of a running commentary that I didn’t bother turning the radio on, because she’d have drowned it out.

She got through the surgery just fine. (“We discovered that she was in heat,” the vet reported, “so that’ll be an additional $19.35.” Not entirely sure why it costs more, but I suppose it’s better to discover she was in heat by having the operation rather than by having her running around outside, looking for boyfriends.) She’ll spend tonight at the vet’s and come home tomorrow to recuperate for a day or two before going to her new home.