Suitable weather this weekend . . .

For the last 15 years, my wife and I have shared our home with two cats. The first one we got actually seemed to be choosing us. He was jet black, and at 6 weeks old he walked right up to my left leg, looked up at me, and let out a meow that I swear sounded like “get me the hell out of here NOW.” Of course, we had to wait another 2 weeks for him to be old enough to adopt, but he remembered us, and came running as soon as we arrived to pick him up.

Within a month, we realized that he was lonely for the company of another cat, but we didn’t understand the dynamics of feline prides (family units) well enough to prevent a mistake we made. The second cat we adopted was 1-2 weeks older than the first one, from a different mother and litter, and was also a girl. They were usually civil to each other, but Morgaine (the girl) never fully accepted Merlin as her brother.

Without any actual dates for when either cat was born, we just kept track of their ages by remembering that we picked up Merlin (the male) on Halloween.

Several weeks ago, Morgaine started having behavior trouble – making messes on the living room carpet instead of a litter box that hadn’t moved in 12 years. She also wasn’t grooming herself, and was spending large amounts of time hiding from everyone. We became worried enough that we decided she needed to see a veterinarian. Her appointment was yesterday morning.

You know how in Hollywood shows, whenever there is a funeral scene it’s usually raining? It’s been raining here off-and-on since Friday.

The news from the veterinarian was upsetting. Morgaine had developed diabetes, kidney disease, and had open wounds on her glands around the base of her tail. It would be expensive to treat these issues, and because of the kidney disease would only buy her another year, or two. After a lot of soul searching, we decided the kindest thing we could do for her was to let her go. It was about as far from easy as you can get. One of our fur babies has passed away.

Advertisement

Be Careful . . .

My wife grew up in Missouri, and still has many relatives in the state. Earlier this week, we had a high temp here of 70F degrees, and one of my wife’s cousins that is still in Missouri posted the following on her Facebook page:

Sixty degrees in January is an absolute guarantee of an approaching apocalyptic winter storm.

Here on Thursday, just two days later, we had a high temp predicted of 39F degrees, an overnight low of 24F, and a 50% chance of precipitation. Followed on Friday the high temp was supposed to be about 35F with 90% chance of precipitation, and Friday night the prediction was 20F with an 80% chance of precipitation.

All of those percentages were accurate at 1100 hrs (11:00 am) CST on Thursday – as reported by Weather.com. As I’m posting it, we’re now at Saturday morning, and it’s pretty much all come to pass, with the freezing rain/ice expected to continue through Sunday. Monday it’s supposed to climb back up to around 60F degrees – and drop to near freezing again Monday night after raining all day.

Guess who’s getting well acquainted with Jose’ right now?

These are the days . . .

Early this year, some of you may remember that I was frantically trying to get Window World to send someone over, and once it was proved beyond hope that they wouldn’t, I went to Home Depot to order some windows and get them installed.

My whole reasoning was thinking ahead to days like the ones we’ve enjoyed THIS WEEK.

Tuesday evening as we prepared for bed, I turned off the A/C and opened the windows, looking at an overnight low around 60 degrees.  Since then, the high temps have been in the low 70’s, and the lowest low so far has been 48.  The A/C has not been on, nor have we turned on the heater, all week long.

Although our cats do seem somewhat confused.  They keep jumping up to the windows and sticking their noses close to sniff this weird thing they don’t recognize – fresh air.  LOL!

Netflix, weather, other weirdness

Seen on another blog:
GOLD is the money of the KINGS,
SILVER is the money of the GENTLEMEN,
BARTER is the money of the PEASANTS,
but DEBT is the money of the SLAVES!!!
http://wchildblog.com
______________________

Netflix has, IMHO, decided to shoot it’s feet off.  Both of them.

I can’t be the only person in the US who uses Netflix Streaming service as a total substitute for watching live TV or cable programming – but people like me are exactly the people Netflix has decided they can live without.  In a recent article on the BBC news service, Netflix announced that it is not renewing the contract with a content provider which allows access to the very types of shows my wife and I watch the most. They would rather focus on creating their own original programs – which so far have not included any titles I care to watch.

We’ve talked it over, and for us I think we might be alright if we change to disc-only service, but we’ll have to see what happens when the Epix contract expires.  Read more here:  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34110968

In other news – this has been one of the weirdest “summer” seasons I’ve ever seen.  Normally in Kansas (and I have spent most of the last 53 years here) the grass is turning brown by early July, and doesn’t start getting green again until mid September.  This year it NEVER turned brown at all in our yard, and I didn’t give any supplemental water.  If the weather had cooperated, the city could have gotten most of the sidewalk done outside in a few days – it took over a month!  In fact – they still aren’t entirely done.  There is still grass seed to put down for the areas they stripped for construction.  They might have done it yesterday – except that it was rain or storms all day long, which also means that the ground is still too wet for them to put it down today.

This is why . . .

Nearly 2 months ago, I started trying to place an order to get more of our windows replaced.  The overall goal is improved energy efficiency, but a sub-goal of that is being able to open them in nice weather.  There were only a few windows in the whole house that could be opened when we bought our home.

The last week has been of such a fair weather that, if we’d had even one window on the north side of the house that we could open, we wouldn’t have needed to run the heater or air conditioning the whole week.  Instead, afternoon high temps have driven the internal house temperatures into the uncomfortable zone and forced us to activate the air conditioning system.  Yes, I am calling the window people again today to see about getting that order placed – I want those windows in before we have the same type of weather this fall.  We’re ready, once again, to order 4 windows for certain, and if they keep dragging their heels on reopening the local office, we’re going to soon be ready for 5.  That’s 1/3rd of our remaining windows all at one time.

An apology . . .

I feel a need to apologize for not writing something yesterday, and not having anything good to write today.  I haven’t had more than 3 hours of good sleep at a time in nearly a week.  The vacancy yesterday was due to running out of pre-written blogs.  Unless I get very inspired by something, I might not write again before Monday – the next day when we have good weather scheduled (at this point – we’ll see how that plays out).

Weather woes . . .

When I first got up yesterday morning, I knew it would not be a fun day.  The weather forecast confirmed my arthritis’ prediction – storm coming.

The weather service never did manage to get the forecast quite right, though.  The first time I looked, it said 50% chance between 11 am and noon.  I checked again about 10:30, and the storm had been bumped to half-past noon.  By 11:30, they had pushed it back to 2:30-3pm.

It actually did arrive at 1:30 (1330 hrs) and lasted a whole 15 minutes.  But, by then I’d have thought the weather service was having a good laugh (April Fools) if it wasn’t for the prediction of my joints.

Guess what the fun part is?  More of the same today, with more repetition, with the first storm due to arrive in less than half an hour.  And at 8:30 am today the electrician who’s installing the replacement ceiling fan in our spare room will arrive to finally get that task complete ( I first blogged about contacting him just before Valentine’s Day this year to get this scheduled).

UPDATE @ 10:00am:  The electrician just left – the broken ceiling fan is gone, and a new 5-bulb light is hanging nicely where the fan once was.  It’s very bright, and has 5 LED bulbs in it.  We’re set – and he’s putting together a bid for running electricity to the entire room downstairs that I’ve been converting to a bedroom.  Six GFCI outlets with 70 feet of conduit, and the whole installation run through it’s own circuit breaker.  I should hear about that in a couple of days.

Weather?

I thought it was supposed to be the middle of December.  If that is true, why does the thermometer say it’s 56F degrees outside here, at 0430 hrs (that’s 4:30 am)?  Something goofy is going on.  We’ve had temps yo-yo’ing like crazy the last couple of weeks.  A couple of days with highs around 30F, then a couple of days with high temps in the 50’s or 60’s.  Then back below freezing.  We had 4 days in a row where there was no rain, but the ground was constantly wet because the humidity was 100% and condensation was everywhere.  Wild.

SLOW DOWN – EVERYONE!

I’m just sitting here minding my own business, and suddenly hear a loud noise outside.  I instantly knew exactly what it was, and was dialing 9-1-1 before I even got to the door.

Yep – two pickup trucks had crashed on the slick wet road, almost directly in front of our house.

So, listen up!  NOBODY is ever in such a hurry that you can’t slow down and keep full control over your vehicle.  If you slow down 5 mph, it might take you an extra 1-3 minutes to get where you’re going.  If you loose control over your auto, you might not get there at all.

In this case, the driver who lost control of the truck managed to break the front driver-side axle on the truck.  It had to be towed away.  Now, how much of a hurry are you in?

One thing I truly hate

If there is anything I hate about living where we do, it is the difficulty the weather forecasters have at giving an accurate forecast.  It’s not just one forecaster – this has been a problem in this area as long as I’ve known this area exists.  For example – early this evening I started feeling the familiar neck/back pain that indicates bad weather is coming, so I checked the forecast.  It said we had a 40% chance of showers “late in the evening” – on the hourly breakdown it scheduled the showers to start around midnight.  Tomorrow was supposed to be 20%, with 100% tomorrow evening.  It is now just after midnight, so I checked the forecast for an update.

They have decreased the immediate chance to 20%, and pushed the entire main event back to tomorrow evening.  In the between time, it is a near certainty that my back/neck will continue to tell me bad weather is coming, and as the time gets closer, my hip will get in on the act as well.

I can’t prove it, but I think the problem is a combination of factors.  One thing is that most of the storms we get here form over the Rocky Mountains, and head east from there, traveling with the help of the Jet Stream.  The other is some quirk of geography that causes the storms to stall just west of where we live, or sometimes to split and go around us while missing us.  It doesn’t help me a bit, but that is the best explanation I can come up with so far.