Little Brisby

I got up this morning and started a couple corned beef briskets in the slow cooker. Summer had to go to work for a bit, so I cleaned the kitchen and got showered so I could ride to the Neighborhood Market for some potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and onion. I threw everything but the cabbage in with the corned beef, and waited for dinner to be ready.

Eaddie ended up going shopping and to Bona Dea, and Summer came home to mow the lawn. I went out back to check on the basement, and to my surprise, we had caught our rat. I brought it around to the front of the house so I could clean up the poop it had left on the workbench, and then Summer finished up outside and we got cleaned up for dinner.

Dad walked over from their house to join us for dinner. I got the meat and potatoes out so I could stuff the whole cabbage into the slow cooker. Eaddie eventually made it home and we ate. The meat was pretty tough, but still tasty. I wasn’t sure if it was due to the age or how long I cooked it, but dinner was still good. After we ate, I rode the Onewheel alongside Dad as he walked home in the dark.

The girls made it to bed early, and I was slow to get there myself. I brought the rat into the garage for the night and gave it some cereal, but as cute as it is, I think it’ll be best to take it out to the trail tomorrow for release.

Unstable Unicorn

Silly Rabbit

We woke up in the middle of the night to some rustling in the bedroom. I assumed it was a cat, and let Summer investigate. It wasn’t until I heard her say that it was the bunny that I got out of bed. I just knew if we didn’t find it, it would die in the house from starvation, but I also wasn’t willing to stay awake tearing the room apart to find it. I told her to wake Autumn, but we went back to sleep instead.

I made it in to work a hair early, but there wasn’t much going on. Kyle came in and wanted to know what to do about the Chromebooks that wouldn’t update, and Brody called with the same question he’s already asked me, along with nearly every other staff member about. Greg was out running fiber all day for the new jumbotron, so it was mostly me with an intermittent Kyle in the shop. It aggravated me a bit the way he seemed to expect me to just figure out the problem and give him a fix, especially when I explained exactly how he could contact Google support himself.

Gary, Thomas, and I met Brody for Taco Tuesday, where he struggled to finish six softshells. He’s always complaining about what he normally orders, but just tacos are so cheap. It’s hard to pass up on a Tuesday. When we got back to the shop, I tried to go upstairs to collect some Chromebooks off the stage, but ended up on a side quest.

I’ve been asking for over two years to get a tire inflator chuck with a built-in pressure gauge for our air tank. I couldn’t get the tires inflated, so I asked Thomas directly if I could go buy one, and he had Tammy give me the credit card so I could go to Leonard’s. That’s the story of how I found the one item in the world that Leonard’s Hardware doesn’t have. They had something similar, but not the gun style with the clip-on valve stem bit. I ended up going to Harbor Freight, where they had just what I needed for a fraction of the cost and quality.

With my tires at an appropriate 30psi, the ride with the three tech tubs full of 15 Chromebooks was super smooth all the way down to the basement. It was quiet for the rest of the afternoon until Thomas came down and asked Gary and me to help with something relatively urgent tomorrow. I left work a few minutes late, expecting to meet Eaddie to ride the Grom, but she was out on her bicycle.

Once Eaddie made it back, we went to the aquatics center where Dad thought some guys would be paramotoring. Summer and Autumn met us out there as well, but after signing into Dad’s Facebook on my phone, we discovered they actually went flying on Monday, so we missed them.

Summer had let Autumn take Eaddie home since she was feeling pretty rough with her head cold. The girls found the bunny before we got home, which was a relief. Then we all ate, except for Autumn, who I have to assume is filling up on junk food at school before she gets home. Then Autumn wanted to play Phase 10 with us while Eaddie watched TV. From there, it was a relatively early night to bed for everyone.

I half expected to come home to a bowl of Trix in the floor as bait.

Split My Life into Pieces

I woke up pretty rested, having held Split Lip in my hands most of the night. He didn’t leave the way he normally would after I fell asleep, at least until hours into the night when he wanted to go outside. When I finally got up to go to work, I scooped him up and carried him off to the vet. I actually felt a little bit hopeful that he seemed to eat a bit of canned food before bed last night.

When we got to the vet, I parked next to Robyn, who was there dropping off a cat as well. They were super busy running in and out with animals, so we chatted while we waited. Just after she left, I heard the spew of diarrhea in the carrier, so I pulled it out of the car and threw some napkins in to try and cover it up the best I could. It didn’t keep Split’s tail from getting in it though. It was actually kind of normal colored and had some solid in it, which made me even more hopeful. I thought maybe he had just powered through some mouth pain so he could eat last night.

I carried on to work feeling a little better about the ordeal, so I stopped and grabbed a slice of breakfast pizza on the way. From there, things slowly started going downhill.

Sandy emailed me to say Dover couldn’t meet my salary request, so they went with another candidate. I would have liked a raise, even if it was only an opportunity to say no to a couple thousand dollars for a lateral step to their pay scale. I wasn’t heartbroken about it though, and in fact had at least a little bit of relief in sticking with what I know.

I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out why imaging the student laptops was suddenly destroying my task sequence flash media. Ben called a couple times and we chatted about Impero some more. Overall, not much was really accomplished.

Dr. Pearson called about split sometime in the middle of the day, and let me know that she couldn’t find anything in his mouth that would cause the grinding sound we were hearing. Without any real answers as to why he wouldn’t eat, her best guess was that he was wasting away from some kind of cancer, and that it was best to let him go. He was already sedated for the examination, so it was a pretty easy decision with the expected fallout throughout the rest of the evening.

I stopped by to get my pet carrier, then picked up a shirt that Ben got me for toughing it out while everyone else was quarantined. The girls didn’t have karate, so I stopped to see Summer briefly before making it home. When I got there, I realized they had not cleaned the cat carrier at the vet, so I hosed it down a bit and left it out to dry.

Autumn made dinner, so I eventually made my way across town. Summer spent nearly the whole evening on a video call with the automotive guys at the ATCC. Autumn’s hamburger meat with rice reminded me of eating leftover taco meat over steamed rice as a child. Then we played a round of Mario Kart before Summer went to sleep and I headed back home.

It really feels like the end of an era. I’ve never truly been here, home, alone. I had my childhood at home. Then I moved out with Angie and we got Kitty, turned Big Kitty, turned Momma. Little Kitty quickly outgrew Big Kitty, but size didn’t matter when he became Daddy. They had five distinct little kittens while we were away in Hawaii just over 15 years ago – Split Lip, Grey, Chewie, Momma’s Clone, and a fifth that we managed to give away before having to come up with a way to describe it against the others.

Daddy and Clone disappeared after I put a bunch of them outside to keep the males from breeding and spraying everywhere. Chewie stuck around the neighborhood, but quickly came down with a dickborn disease, and I had to put him down suddenly when the vet said he had developed jaundice. For a long time, it was just Momma, Grey, and Split. Then Momma blew up like a balloon and I put her down suddenly after a completely worthless trip to the vet at Town and Country. Years later, Grey got the same thing, and Dr. Tanner easily identified and fixed the issue, giving us a little over two more years.

I had been over the whole idea of having cats, and largely pets in general, for a long time. That whole second era of my life had dragged on enough, and I felt like I was never really able to pick up the pieces and move on. Maybe I used the cats as an excuse for being an awful human, but I wanted the chance to find out for sure. I had been ready to move on for a long time, and I guess he was finally ready too.

I’m gonna miss you, buddy. We’ve sure been through some shit together.

Cannot Stop the Battery

I got really angry with the cat this morning for giving me fits about his medicine. It was the last day for the antibacterial, and I was just completely over dealing with him. I was nearly ready to strangle him to death.

When I got to work, I had to gather up 10 more devices to ship back for the old lease. Josh stopped in again to pick up some papers he left the other day. Otherwise I wasn’t super productive. I left around lunch time with my small chicken box of laptops, and caught up with Ben at the shop.

He wanted to go to lunch and I was craving a burger, so we went to CJ’s and chatted a while. Then we went by The UPS Store to try and ship my laptops. We hadn’t considered the regulations on shipping batteries, and were turned away for having too many in the box. I ended up back at the high school, where I stuffed two laptops into each of five depot kits that were really designed for a single laptop in each. Hopefully they don’t say anything about that, because I’m tired of packing things.

After work, I went straight home to check on the cat and give him his antidepressants. He actually ate a little bit of food through the evening, but he kept making this weird grinding sound with either his mouth or throat. I guess I’ll have to bring that video to the vet next time.

Summer ended up staying home with the kids because the girls are incapable of keeping their rooms tidy. They waste so much time “cleaning” their rooms that I don’t know how they make time for anything else.

Cannot kill the bat-ter-y!

My Cat is on Antidepressants

I got up this morning to some more lovely work to do on the carpet. I put the cat out and continued to get ready for work. I went to the shop to sign some paperwork before going to the high school. I stopped for an expiring free slice of pizza, then stuck my nose in some deployment packages, only coming up for air for a late lunch.

Summer met me at Foodie’s, and we had a couple giros. I didn’t find my lamb to be very filling at all, but the waitress warned us about “chewy” steak. Summer really liked hers, but didn’t finish. When I got back from lunch, I continued doing more of the same.

At the end of the day, I called the vet to see what else I could do for Split. Finally, she said it may just be his time to go, as though it was her idea in the first place. I was aggravated, but decided to give some appetite stimulants a try. She prescribed him some Mirtazapine, which evidently is an antidepressant, and said it should take effect within about half an hour to hopefully make him eat something.

I had trouble giving him both medications today, but we made it work. It did seem to bring him around the food more, but he still didn’t seem very interested. He licked a little bit of gravy, and ate one treat. He kept digging in the dry food silo as well, as though he wanted something fresh from up top. I guess I should try a small bag of some other dry food to see if he takes to it.

When the girls got out of karate, I met them and Noah at my parents’ house for dinner. Nova was there again, and it was just a night of leftovers after the Great Labor Day Cook-off of 2020. I made it home a bit later than I wanted, and spent the rest of the night cleaning carpet. Split did seem a little more lively late at night, but I don’t know if that’s a good thing.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Bake and Fry and Grill, Oh My!

We got up this morning and had the last of the eggs. I’ve really enjoyed frying eggs. They’re so simple, and so delicious. Summer left for the gym while I got baked potatoes ready for dinner with my parents. For as little as I actually did, I was still just completely beat.

The cat refused to eat anything again, which has been wearing on me more than anything else. He tried to throw up his medicine today, but Summer said it just came out foamy. I don’t know what else to do.

I had to run to Walmart for some stuff for the twice-baked potatoes, then came home to load everything up and head to my parents’ house. The girls were back home, so they beat me there and were playing in the pool. I got there and started frying bacon for the potatoes. Everything came together reasonably well, but there were just so many people there with the girls, Julie, and Nova.

Afterward, I came straight home and tried to bring the cat in. He immediately went and had diarrhea in the tub, which really was the best possible scenario. He also dumped water all over the kitchen floor though, so I just kept running around after him, trying to clean up. He has me absolutely ragged. Every day, I wish they had just put him out of both of our misery.

The vet never asks about your quality of life.

An Act of Piracy

I took Split into the vet this morning, tears in my eyes, expecting never to see him again. They met me in the parking lot and shuttled him away with the hopeful demeanor that veterinarians have, and I sobbed off toward the shop for work.

They were still mopping up water from the flooding, but for the most part everyone was back to work. I chatted for a little while, then went on to the high school to see what I could accomplish.

I worked a little into lunch, then left in a hurry to make my interview in Dover. I ran home first to change into some nicer pants and shoes, then made the 15 minute drive out of town to try and find their technology office. Excitedly, it’s on a bit of a hill in the old middle school building, so flooding shouldn’t be such a regular occurance.

I felt like the interview went really well. Josh, the superintendent, was there, along with Toby, one of the techs, and of course Sandy, the technology coordinator. They all seemed pretty friendly, and I was probably a little too relaxed, but it was nice to do an interview and not be so uptight. Not needing a job really does wonders for the nerves.

Afterward, I went back to the shop to update everyone. Then ran home to change again before going back to the high school. The vet called in the middle of all of that, and let me know that Split’s bloodwork came back showing signs of normal kidney function and blood sugar, so all we were really looking at was an enlarged thyroid. The stupid cat’s got too many hormones. Or a tumor. Who’s to say? The point was, I would get to continue shampooing carpet until he either quits making messes, or I give up and kill him myself.

After work, I stopped by the vet to get him, along with some meds and a can of special, bland food, to help him “reset” his tastes. I really don’t understand how that’s going to work, but he did at least eat about a quarter of the can of food when we got home. I watched him for a little while, then went to get Eaddie from karate.

When we got up to their house, I snacked a bit until Summer got home, and then she grilled some brats for the girls while I ate some leftover pork chop. I dare say it was better leftover and reheated. It didn’t even really taste freezer burned any more.

I didn’t stick around too long before leaving for Walmart to pick up some plain yogurt to give Split some gut bacteria. It was awful. It’s no wonder he didn’t want to eat it. Of course I also had to clean the carpet again, because that’s still my life. It’s inescapable. This damned cat is going to live forever.

I would say that my biggest weakness is that I never have a good answer for this question during interviews.


It’s been raining all week, and it’s made me really sluggish in the mornings. It doesn’t help that I’ve been working nonstop for what feels like forever. I miss the early days of COVID when the days were shorter, and we spent most of them at home.

I went by the shop this morning to turn in Autumn’s time sheets. I brought my life jacket, because they said the basement and the server room both flooded yesterday, and that it was way worse than ever before. Evidently we lost about $15,000 worth of equipment. There was still (again?) about an inch of water in the shop today, and both custodians and maintenance were there helping to clean it up.

Eventually I made it to the high school and just churned out work orders as quickly as I could. I think I actually got down below 40 by the end of the day. I did take a lunch break to run home and check on Split, because I left him outside all day while I was at work. I felt pretty bad about it near the end of the day, especially when it just kept raining late in the afternoon. I brought him inside all soggy and boney, and I just knew how close to the end we were.

Summer came over after a while with some salad, and we ate that with some cold chicken I got the other day. Then she went to get the girls and I stayed with the cat. We watched Waiting, mostly because I remembered watching it when it came out, and that was the year he was born. It wasn’t really as sentimental as I thought it would be. I guess cats don’t really care about movies. At least, not when they’re starving to death and it’s a movie about servers at a restaurant.

Well, we are under a flood watch...

Triple Chicken

I slept in just a little bit today so I could stay up with the cat and try to get him in to the vet. When I did finally call, they couldn’t get him in until Thursday for a morning drop-off, so I spent the rest of my morning running around town looking for something he might eat.

I stopped by Casey’s first, to redeem a free slice of breakfast pizza before it expired. I didn’t want to sit in my car in front of the gas station and eat, so I just stopped at the park on the way to Walmart. It rained pretty much the whole time I was out, but I got an arm full of stuff, including three kinds of chicken.

When I got back to the house, I started boiling a chicken breast while I tried to feed Split some fried chicken. He ate a nibble of breading, but refused anything else I put in front of him. I waited around for a bit longer, then left for work in the afternoon.

It was a quick and fairly productive day, but I still feel like I’m drowning. I just need to choose a project and finish it so I can move on to the next thing. Everyone’s begging for attention though, and I hate having to put people off until later.

After work, I got the girls to karate. Then I went to my parents’ house and waited for Summer and Eaddie to get there for some mango soup. Julie showed up to eat too, and started looking at timeshare stuff.

The girls stayed with their grandparents, so Summer came back home with me. She showered and went to bed while I cleaned more carpet. Even a fresh can of tuna didn’t do anything for the cat, but he’s still walking.

Imagine vacationing, but like…forever. That’s how sailboats be.

That Which Does Not Kill You Only Postpones the Inevitable

I slept so well last night and just wanted to stay in bed. I’ve grown so weary over the past month, and things aren’t looking up yet. I hid in my office for most of the day and got some things done. Some of those things would have been more satisfying if I hadn’t been so exhausted and hungry. I skipped lunch just to cut down a bit while chipping away at the Great Wall of Work Orders.

At the end of the day, I came home to a huge mess of cat and had to start cleaning that up. He refused to eat anything, so I’m calling it. I’m taking off tomorrow morning to take him to the vet. It’s tragic that his mind is all there, but I can’t get him to consume calories.

I met the girls at my parents’ house for pork spaghetti, then came home to finish cleaning. Tomorrow is going to be rough.

Back from whence we came.