I don't particularly want to make my last post here be something horribly depressing. Things are not all dark and sad. I will continue to talk about things.
Just not here
I'll do it here.
Carbon came into my life late in 2003, from friends who had rescued a litter of kittens found behind their shop. She was in the worst shape of the lot, but my friends were able to nurse her back to health, and felt I could give her a good home.
She was never terribly bright and she was shy even at the best of times, but she loved being held, even if she didn't like sitting still, and she sought attention often, sometimes at inconvenient hours of the morning.
This past week, she'd been a little out of sorts, and looking thinner than usual. On the weekend, she stopped coming out altogether at feeding times. Concerned, we took her to the Vet on Monday.
She'd dropped from her previous weight of 9lbs to 5lbs. The vet found a sizable lump in her abdomen that test showed was likely cancerous, but because her body chemistry was so out of whack from weak kidneys which were on the verge of failing, exploratory surgery would have been as harmful to her as the lump itself.
We decided to euthanize her, so that at least she could die painlessly, and be near those who loved and cared for her. When the anaesthetic (administered to ease the body's reactions to the euthanasia) started kicking in, she got up and crawled into my arms, where she stayed while the vet administered the final injection. She gave a couple coughing breaths and died.
I have never owned a pet right through to the end of their life like that, and while I feel the decision was the right one, it was incredibly hard to watch her go. She was my little girl, and I miss her.
I'm taking a look at my last blog entry, from the start of September.
The start of September.
Six and a half months ago.
Oh well, there's no point in making excuses. We must press onwards, in to the future. Speaking of, I'm going to try writing my blog entries on my iPad for the next little while and see how that goes. I tend to think about blogging as often when I'm not in front of a computer as when I am, if not moreso, and this might be a decent way to jot a few notes down before the feeling leaves me.
Many things have come and gone in the intervening six and a half months. Frosh week was pretty much the same as always, with the exception that the Pink Tie had moved. Thanks to the almost complete (in fact, it's been almost complete for the whole six and a half months) Quantum-Nano building, the Tie can no longer be hung in its historical location on the side of the Math building. It now supposedly hangs from the side of the new Math 3 building though I actually didn't go searching for it.
I tried taking CS341 again, the Algorithms course. There was a slightly better prof this time around, but he tended to give explanations with so much information, that it was hard to sift out all the important information. I still found the course hard to stay motivated in, and especially with all the house stuff we were still dealing with, and now with the riding lessons, I felt that I was spreading my time a little too thin. I ended up withdrawing sometime in October.
A lot happened with the house over the past little while. Since the government re-enacted the ecoEnergy retrofit program, but only for a relatively small window, we ended up doing a lot of work we might have otherwise put off for later years. I mentioned the windows in my last post, but in addition to that, and the roof which was done in November, we also had insulation blown into our walls, replaced an aging toilet and had some random electrical work done. We are slowly dealing with the aftermath and cleanup.
Horse riding continues apace. Apparently, I do okay. And I'm finding that spending time around horses is in some ways a lot like spending time with cats or dogs or other animals. You learn to read their behaviour and their body language the more time you spend with them.
Christmas was heavily overbooked, unfortunately. It was fantastic to see everyone that we saw, but we saw a LOT of people. Much merriment was had, also much food. At one point, we had to deal with having our car broken into. They didn't get much. Mostly burned CDs. I suspect it was more trouble than it was worth to the thieves in addition to being a bit of a pain for us. In the end, we probably could have used a vacation from our vacation.
Houseness progresses. We occasionally find time to get yet another room fully painted, or set up rooms, or unpack and put various things away, or order a freezer. Whatever. There are a couple of really big projects which we'd really like to get done before Winter sets in. Namely to get our roof replaced, and there's a subset of the windows that sorely need replacing as well.
We're not the only ones mind you. The city's been doing some sprucing up as well. It's summer after all. Time to rip up every possible road you can, and make traffic a nightmare. Two key sections of streets nearby are all torn up, and cars are taking detours on tiny little streets in our neighbourhood. I'll be glad when the work's all done, and our quiet little street can go back to being a quiet little street.
The closing date of the house ended up being the day before L had to leave to go to a conference in San Antonio, which I was going to tag along with in a vacationy sort of way.
The conference had been planned for quite a while, the house thing was sort of new. Part of the running around I mentioned in the last post was to make sure we could do as attractive an offer as possible, and that included a 30-day closing, which would have put the closing date smack dab in the middle of the time we were going to be out of the country so it ended up being a 28-day closing. We basically took possession, looked around to make sure everything was as it was supposed to be, then turned around, locked up and flew to Texas.
San Antonio was really really gorgeous. The weather, as you might have been led to believe was pretty damned hot, and we arrived not only in the week leading up to Easter, but in the week that had a lot of history closely tied to the Alamo and Texan independence. The food was fantastic, but there was a lot of it, and most of what we ate was pretty heavy. We saw a lot of very big people.
Of course, one of the first things we saw there was indeed the Alamo. Looking at all the history, you really get the whole mindset. Texas spent a lot of its time more or less getting the shaft from higher governmental bodies. It's no wonder they were independent for as long as they were.
We spent a huge amount of time walking. In fact a little too much time. We wandered down the Mission Trail, to look at a couple of the other historic missions, except it's not a walking trail. After popping out off the Riverwalk, into a beautiful older district of San Antonio, we suddenly found ourselves walking on exposed non-pedestrian-friendly arterial roads that went under overpasses, and at one point by a juvenile correction facility. When we told the grandmotherly park ranger at the first mission that we'd walked there, she just shook her head at us somewhat incredulously. We took the bus back to our hotel.
And then we were back home. Or at least back to our hometown. There was painting and packing and moving and unpacking and a seemingly endless list of todos. At least it's not ended yet. But there's occasional lulls. I was able to sit on the front porch of our new home this evening, watching the world go by, and reading. We're settling in.
Yup. A whole term has slipped by. A crazy crazy four months.
I took a course this term, CS341, User Interfaces. It was a significant amount of work, but quite interesting. I've been thinking on again off again about trying to get my master's degree. But working full time and doing this kind of course work would require me to be uber efficient, and I wasn't very good at it this term. Of course there were mitigating circumstances, namely that we bought a house.
So if taking a challenging course wasn't enough, yes, we were running around like mad in March and April getting all our financial ducks in a row, plus we were spending a huge amount of effort for a week and a half to get the condo ready to list. I've been living out of boxes for half the term. The cats are a little freaked out by everything.
The closing went pretty smoothly though. So... house! Hopefully the move will go as smoothly. But really, I could use a vacation.
One of the problems with blogging so infrequently, is that I forget about a lot of things that happen between posts, let alone what's happened all year round. That said, I can sum up a few things.
At least one major organization change has happened in my work's department, that should help smooth things out between us and the academic departments. I've been working there for six years and a bit now. It's hard to tell if I'm senior or junior there sometimes, but on the whole, I think that I'm doing pretty well there.
Home and play was pretty good this year on the whole. I tend to not talk about my personal life much here, but I'm happy enough. Things certainly aren't bleak. I've bought a few toys. A reverse osmosis water filter in March was a fantastic success, and the Kindle towards the end of the year which I'm also more than happy with.
What's the plan for 2011? Well, a lot of things can use a face lift. Many aspects of Trig.Net have languished for far too long not the least of which is this blog. Also, I wouldn't mind having a better system for keeping my home in order. Not resolutions per se, but certainly things I should try to get done.
For all of you, good luck on your goals, and here's hoping you have a good year.
Walking home this evening, at dusk. I've walked home at dusk a couple of times already this year, but that's because I'd left work late. Today it was the first time since the end of Daylight Savings Time. It was wonderfully mild, considering how cold it had been last week. Friday we actually had snow for most of the day, though there was precious little accumulation.