Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Amber Day

Amber passed away yesterday at the amazing age of 19 years 7 months.

Anna and I adopted Amber on March 1, 2005 from a crazy cat lady we found on Craigslist. She and her sister, Sydney, joined forces in the house with Booty and Kitty. Months later, Anna moved out with Kitty and Sydney, while Booty and Amber remained behind.

Amber was always Booty's punching bag -- Booty would deign to let Amber sleep next to her, but got very territorial if Amber tried for the affection of Booty's humans. Once Booty died in 2017, Amber became much happier as the lone cat. (Kitty and Sydney died in the intervening years as well, so Amber TRULY was the last one standing).

Amber was not a fan of kids until around 2019 when she became absolutely deaf. Then she would peacefully lie on the couch as children bounced from cushion to cushion or the vacuum cleaner drove by below her. She was always a sucker for a warm blanket and spent almost every afternoon napping on the couch with Rebecca.

The osteoarthritis in her back legs made it difficult to get around on a good day and last week, she finally got to the point where her front legs weren't working all that well either. We suspect that she may have had a mini-stroke of some kind because by the weekend, she wouldn't use her legs and couldn't focus her eyesight on any movement. We gave her a final bath (she couldn't clean the litter off her paws anymore) and kept her comfortable for the remainder of her days, holding the water bowl right up under her face to get her to drink.

Amber died peacefully overnight on one of her favourite wool blankets. Rest in peace, kitty!

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day in history

Monday, May 20, 2024

Easy Photos Day

New bathroom color.


Happy and full of popcorn shrimp after Ford's Fish Shack.


Walking in Claude Moore Park.


Amber, 19 years 7 months, just after a mandatory bath.


Maia goes to the American History Museum with the grandparents.


Maia tours the latest in playground technology in Alexandria.


Newest gift from the grandparents, a mixed sand + water table with a valuable theme.


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day in history

Friday, May 17, 2024

Review Day: Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Empire in Black and Gold is Adrian Tchaikovsky's very first published book and kicks off the ambitious, ten-volume Shadows of the Apt series in high form. It took me a while to begin, as I'd heard it blandly described as "insect people fighting each other", but the book is so much deeper and more imaginative than that false encapsulation.

In a world of industrial city-states and provincial rivalries, mankind has taken on traits of different arthropods, like the Ant-kinden who can communicate telepathically with each other or the Spider-kinden who can charm or manipulate and are masters of political intrigue. Stenwold Maker returns from a distant land to warn his people that the Wasp Empire is expanding through invasion and slavery, but struggles to get through to others content with the status quo.

The book reads very easily with just enough world building information planted along the way to deepen the experience without slowing the frenetic pace. It's particularly intriguing when the story takes us to a new locale and we learn about a new "kinden" trait. And unlike Children of Time which was the last series I'd read, the story doesn't exist just to revolve around the cool ideas -- Tchaikovsky introduces very memorable characters with believable motivations here, and having those characters to root for makes the cool ideas less abstract.

It feels like there's a lot of unexplored complexity buried just below the surface, with themes of magic vs. technology and innate prejudices raised but not (yet) deeply explored. I'm looking forward to continuing on with Book 2!

Final Grade: B

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day in history

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Maia's Art Day

Maia started a car dealership in February after Rebecca bought her new Kia Niro. The jeeps are so cheap because "we have too many and no one wants them!"


A silly robot.


This is what adorns Maia's bedroom wall at the moment. Charizard is her favourite Pokemon.


Ice skating.


If I had $100, I would buy some more cat stuffed animals.


An all-inclusive sketch of Maia's elementary school, from the bus circle and flagpole in front to the basketball court and playground in the back.

tagged as offspring, media | permalink | 1 comment
day in history

Monday, May 13, 2024

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12 pictures of your day on the 12th of every month

7:02 AM: Running on the treadmill while finishing up Ripley.
7:35 AM: Showered and ready for the day.
7:46 AM: Bagel for breakfast.
8:44 AM: Working on various website graphics and ads.
11:52 AM: Leftover fried chicken for lunch.
2:35 PM: Ian comes home, happy from his first weekend with the grandparents.
3:43 PM: Matching some tractors.
4:41 PM: The line to get to Dulles Airport.
4:58 PM: Picking up Rebecca and Maia from their trip to Minneapolis.
5:13 PM: Everyone's home again.
5:49 PM: Garlic scallops and angelhair alfredo for dinner.
7:20 PM: Ready for bed.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 1 comment
day in history

 

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