Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tigga (1990-2006)

















We said goodbye to Tigga this morning. This picture was taken this morning as she sat outside in the sun for the last time. She was purring away, almost to the very end.

We knew she was in pain and, as much as we didn't want to have to do it, we took her in to the vet and had her put to sleep. It took less than 30 seconds and she was gone.

Sleep well, Tigga. We miss you already. And we love you so much!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Saying goodbye

Six years ago, when Lisa moved into my home and my life, she brought her cat, Tigga with her. Tigga was a 10½ year old, overweight (20 lbs.) tabby who was afraid of her own shadow.

Lisa's former roommates had endlessly tormented her by chasing her with plastic bags, taking perverse pleasure in her terror.

When Tigga first came to our home, she hid under the covers on the bed in the spare bedroom for weeks on end, only coming out long enough to eat and then go back to the dark sanctuary she'd found under the covers.

After some time, I told Lisa that we needed to stop letting her hide out like that because it would become her way of life and I wanted her to have more of a life than that. Besides, I wasn't all that nuts about the fact that the spare bedroom was "occupied" in such a way and that bed was going to be so full of cat fur and god-knows-what-else that it would take enormous effort to clean it up if we ever had a guest. So, we started closing the doors to the three bedrooms upstairs so that she had noplace in there to hide.

She took to hanging out on the bench seat of the kitchen set. Still staying hidden, but beginning to come out a bit at night. I tried to make her comfortable and unafraid, but it was clearly going to be a monumental task.

As time went by, she began to come out more frequently in the evening and actually sit in/on the recliner with Lisa -- a familiar piece of furniture (Lisa brought it with her) from the "old days."

In six years, this cat morphed from that frightened feline who couldn't bear to come out into the light or where anyone else was to a prominent member of the household. As old as she is (and having no claws) somehow she became the "alpha" cat, commanding the respect (and a bit of leariness) from Cedar, a 7 year old fiesty female, complete with claws. Cedar steers wide berth around Tigga, which endlessly amused us because Tigga is so old and gentle and completely unable to defend herself.

We introduced Simba in 2001, a year after Tigga came to live with us. He was a piss-and-vinegar kitten who, most likely because Tigga had no claws to hurt him with, took a shine to Tigga and played with her constantly, to her endless irritation. Because Tigga is a "talker," her talk-growling at him always made me laugh because she sounded like something out of The Exorcist when she fussed at Simba. But, while she talked a mean game, she could be seen laying back-to-back or butt-to-butt with him during the cold weather. Simba just loves Tigga.

Simba "herds" Tigga to the food dish each morning. When he's ready to flop down for a nap, he seeks out Tigga and flops right up against her, sometimes causing her to get up and move, but often she'd just stay where she was, yapping at him most likely about the fact that she'd gotten there first and wasn't moving for him.

About three years ago, the vet told us that Tigga really needed to lose weight because, at her advanced age, there was always a concern about diabetes and other weight related problems. She was at 22½ lbs. We began a weight loss program for her, putting all the cat food dishes and the litter box downstairs, so she'd get that little bit of exercise each time she wanted to eat or toilet.

Over the course of the next few months, Tigga got down to a svelte 18 lbs., which is still overweight for a cat, but considerably healthier. She was more energetic and could get up on the furniture with ease.

Tigga also began going outside on the patio with Lisa in the mornings (while Lisa has her morning cigarette before driving to work -- she doesn't smoke in her vehicle). She'd lounge in the sun, or "graze" at the grass line that came up to the patio. She'd stopped hiding and had begun living, and she seemed to be really loving life.

I often commented to Lisa about how Tigga's personality mirrors Lisa's -- they were both very introverted and withdrawn when they moved in with us. I also often commented that, when Tigga's time came, I was glad to know that her life had been so much happier with us and that her last years were good, happy, loving years. Lisa always enthusiastically agreed.

Each morning when I put on my shoes, I sit at the top of the stairs that go down to the entryway and, as soon as Tigga sees those shoes in my hands, she meets me at the top of the stairs and, as I put on my shoes and socks, I put a lovin' on her. I'm not sure who trained who there.

A year ago May, I took up knitting. Because I'm off on Fridays during the summer, I'd spend my Fridays sitting on the couch working on my knitting. Tigga would get up on the couch beside me and sometimes bat at the knitting needles, sometimes doing "pushie-pushie" on the yarn or my leg, but always stayed right there next to me. She'd become my knitting buddy.

As the cold weather set in last year, she got a bit stiffer and had difficulty getting up onto the couch, so we got a stool for her to help her get up. If the knitting needles came out, Tigga magically appeared on the couch next to me. In the evenings, Lisa sits on one end of the couch, I sit on the other, and Tigga occupies the middle. We're three lumps on the couch each night, watching television or doing whatever.

About three months ago, we weighed Tigga and saw that she was down to 16 lbs. We were pleased with her weight loss. 6½ lbs. is a lot of weight for a cat -- and it represented a loss of almost 30% of her starting body weight. For me, today, a 30% loss of body weight would equate to more than 50 lbs.

We'd begun to give her glucosamine tablets for joint health, so that she wasn't as stiff and sore during the cold or damp weather. She seemed to slow down more last winter but, as the spring broke, she perked up and was more active.

In recent weeks, Lisa had commented a couple of times about how thin Tigga was looking, but we didn't really think much of it. But then we noticed that she didn't seem all that interested in eating very much and, when she turned down her treats, we became alarmed.

We weighed her and were astonished to see that she was down to 13½ lbs. Over the last weekend, she stopped eating completely and did nothing but lay on our bed (something we normally don't allow) and sleep the days away. But always she purred when we petted her or talked to her.

We took Tigga to the vet on Wednesday. By then, Tigga had lost another 1½ lbs, and was down to 12 lbs. That's too much weight too fast. On examination, the vet thought there might be an enlarged liver and possibly a mass in the abdomen. They kept her overnight so they could do an ultrasound. When they admitted her to the hospital, they found her to be dehydrated as well.

The ultrasound yesterday revealed masses in the abdomen and possible masses in the liver. The results of the ultrasound were emailed to a specialist and and the results were expected in late yesterday. They asked to keep Tigga overnight again to continue hydration therapy.

This morning, I spoke to the vet and was told that it is believed that Tigga has one of two forms of cancer that they suspect. One form (a lymphoma) responds well to steroids and, I was told, we can take her home and treat her with the steroids and see how she fares over the weekend. If she seems to improve, then we'd take her back in a week or so for another exam. It's possible we could have Tigga with us a bit longer if this is the form of cancer she has. And, the treatment isn't worse than the disease.

The other form, well, let's just say that euthanasia is the recommended course of action.

We don't want Tigga to suffer, whether it be physically or psychologically. Certainly I think it's important to bring Tigga home for the weekend so that Lisa has time to wrap her head around this, to process the potential loss of this beloved pet whom she's had her entire adult life. Through all of the trials and hardships that Lisa has undergone, Tigga has been her best friend. Tigga seems to have a sense for a troubled spirit -- she's always right up against me or Lisa if we're upset or sick.

I've missed her terribly the past two mornings -- the world is terribly unsettled when your routine is disturbed. I sat at the top of the steps to put my shoes on, but there was no Tigga. I started to put a shoe on before I put a sock on -- nothing seems right. Simba came over to me, nudging against me. He knew what was missing and I think tried to give me what I needed.

So, I'll pick Tigga up this afternoon and take her home and get out the knitting needles so she can stay with me and have "normal" back, until Lisa gets home. Then we can spend the weekend with her -- we've canceled plans to go to a festival with my aunt. We'll spend the weekend at home with Tigga, and work on saying goodbye.

It's hard enough to lose a pet that you love so much, but the part that sucks the most is playing God -- putting them to sleep.

But I keep reminding myself that it's an act of love.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Are you shittin' me?

Sunday night, my throat started getting sore. And my ear hurt, too. I felt like I had a huge lump on the side of my throat and that was what hurt the most. Sinuses acting up? It's the right time of year for it and more than likely that's exactly what's wrong. All sorts of allergens floating around, as summer perennials begin to shed their beautiful flowers and go to seed. I took a Sudafed and figured that would take care of business.

I woke up Monday morning and my throat was really sore and my ear felt like it wanted to explode. I took some Tylenol Sinus Headache medication and went to work. I was miserable all day and, as the day progressed, I felt more and more wiped out. The Tylenol Sinus barely took the edge off it and, by the end of the day, I knew I needed the big guns.

So, I called in sick yesterday and made an appointment at the doctor's office. They took one look in my throat and grabbed the culture swabs. Wha'? I've been around strep so much in my life it's not funny -- my ex and my son used to get strep every month during the winter. My younger daughter used to carry the germ. I never got strep, or anything near it. So then the doctor comes in, looks in my ear(s) and tells me there's nothing wrong with my ears. Then why the hell does that one hurt so bad? He looks in my throat -- I mean really LOOKS in my throat, and tells me that my left tonsil is swollen and inflamed.

Wha'fuck?

Now, as a child, I never had tonsillitis. Never had strep, not even as an adult. A few years back, a doctor looked in my throat and said "Hmph, no tonsils." I replied "Well, unless someone came and snagged them when I wasn't looking, I still have tonsils!" He looked in my mouth again and said "Oh yeah, you do. It's just that they're so small, they look like roots." They're that small because they've never EVER had a problem.

Now, all of a sudden, at the age of 51 I'm going to have tonsillitis for the first time in my life?

And who the hell gets tonsillitis during the summer, anyway?

What next? Chicken pox?

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I love the way Moxie Grrrl expresses herself. Check her out!

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Our city is "testing" a new curfew for minors. This pilot program will run for 90 days and then undergo evaluation.

The curfew ordinance, which was amended Tuesday by Councilman Adam McFadden, will prohibit youths in the city 16 and under from being unsupervised at a public place from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., Sunday through Thursday; and midnight to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

One man who spoke out against the curfew said that the right to public assembly isn't age dependent.

Public assembly? A gang of kids is a public assembly?

And let's just touch on the unstated here. Where are the parents of these kids who are under 16 and out after 11:00 on a school night -- or any night for that matter?

Big thumbs up for the city council for passing this curfew. Big thumbs down and a huge raspberry for any idiot who thinks that kids should have a "right" to be out on the streets getting shot or committing crimes.

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Here's something that should stick in your craw...


The Oatmans are still trying to cope with the loss of Bear, their 6-year-old black Labrador, after he was shot by an off-duty Rochester police officer in their front yard last week.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office has concluded that Christopher Muscato, 28, a six-year veteran of the city police department, was justified when he shot the dog for allegedly lunging at him and his wife Aug. 9.

"I can tell you that if any citizen were approached by a dog in the manner this guy said he was, he would be as justified as he is," said Capt. Donald Bergman.

But Brian Oatman can't believe Muscato had any reason to shoot his dog, especially not in front of his son, Nicholas, 10.

Oatman's two sons, including Troy, 13, and wife, Judy, are staying with relatives because their house is still covered in blood from Bear's futile attempt to get help after the shooting, said Oatman.

"There's blood over every carpet, in all four bedrooms," said Oatman.

Meanwhile, the city police department has launched an investigation by the internal affairs unit, a routine procedure whenever a police weapon is discharged, said Officer Deidre Taccone, the department's spokeswoman.

Bergman said deputies determined there was no basis for criminal charges. He said the officer told deputies he and his pregnant wife were walking their dog down Summertime Trail shortly before 8 p.m. when a black Labrador retriever from 10 Summertime Trail left the property and tried to attack them. Muscato said he shot the dog once, and that Bear continued to act aggressively so he shot him a second time, Bergman said.

According to Bergman, Bear retreated into the Oatman's home and later died. The officer asked his wife to go to their home and call 911, Bergman said. He waited at the scene for deputies to arrive and provided a full statement. Deputies interviewed several neighbors, some of whom reported that the dog was known to leave its property and bark. Others said the dog was known to be friendly, Bergman said.

State agriculture and markets law, which regulates the treatment of dogs, states a person can destroy a dog if there is a perceived threat, Bergman said.

"It's not like any of us don't sympathize with this family," said Bergman, a dog owner. "But the deputies did a thorough investigation."

Oatman said he plans to sue Muscato and provide evidence that the officer acted inappropriately and gave authorities conflicting statements.

"My son had to witness this," said Oatman, "I'm not after any money; my main focus is what he did to Nicholas and how he is going to have to carry that for the rest of his life."

What's an off-duty officer, out walking his dog with his wife, carry a gun for?

Wouldn't a dog owner know that a dog seeing another dog pass by would become territorial or, at least want to play? According to neighbors, "Bear" was a gentle, loving dog who would have helped burglars carry stuff out of the house if they just stopped and petted him first.

I think this idiot cop had been by the house before with his dog and, because the dog may have barked at his own dog or acted territorial, he made sure to have the gun with him so he could eliminate that small irritation.

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Anyone else besides me really, really curious what John Mark Karr has to say about how JonBenet Ramsey died?

According to CNN, this guy made "unsolicited comments" to law enforcement officials on his trip back to the US. This should prove interesting, as far as the legal wrangling.

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Here's a list schools can be proud of making. According to the news last night, parents have the option to move their children to another school because of this dubious distinction in their own school district.

Two Rochester high schools — Charlotte and Thomas Jefferson — are among the
state's 17 "persistently dangerous," the state Education Department said
Tuesday.

The designation stems from an audit of 92 public schools
statewide, and is based on data on violent incidents from school years 2004-05
and 2005-06.

Thomas Jefferson High School showed a drop in the number of
violent incidents from 87 to 58 in those years. During the same period, the
number of violent incidents at Charlotte High School increased from 65 to 68.


Makes you want to run right out and enroll your kid in one of these fine schools, eh?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

He's Here!


Ethan Michael entered this world yesterday evening, weighing in at 6 lbs. 8 oz. and measuring 18½ inches. Big brother, Brandon, got to see him before anyone else in the family and then was allowed to go down the hall and get the rest of the family so they could see too.

Welcome, Ethan!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday Mumblings


I went to see my father Friday at the hospital in Buffalo. It's a long story about how he got there, and I won't bore you with it. Let it suffice to say that even though he was born in 1935, he's 100 years old now. Two months in prison have aged him that much. He has tremendous pain in his foot (where he has no circulation) and his foot feels like an ice cube. They were supposed to do an angioplasty on him, but haven't yet for some reason. They did a doppler and a stress test and he'll know something hopefully today. My father won't survive his incarceration -- I'm sure of that now.

His half-brother, Jerry, is still missing, too. He's been MIA for 3 weeks now and, even though the state police have conducted massive searches in the woods surrounding Jerry's house and found nothing, we all still believe that eventually he'll turn up dead in those very woods.

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Linda, my younger daughter (middle child) called this morning to let me know that she's at the hospital, dilated to 3 cm and almost completely effaced (sp?). Looks like we'll have us a baby today. They're planning to name him Ethan Michael. Ethan is the second son born to Linda and Brandon -- his older brother Brandon Jr. was born in February of 2003 and is excited about having a baby brother so he can "...teach him to pee standing up!"

I guess I'd better get the ends woven in on that blanket and get it sent off tomorrow!

I'm tickled to death that she called -- our relationship tends to be turbulent, at best. But I think in the end, she wants her Mom. I think we all tend to. Let's keep our fingers crossed that he's healthy and there's no complications in the delivery process.

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Things are really falling into place with our new business. We got our federal EIN on Friday and expect notification within the next day or two for our state sales tax ID. After that, we need to get a merchant account with a local bank (so we can accept credit cards) and we'll be open for business. We already have a job lined up which will be an excellent start to Lisa's handiwork portion of the business. Our online store is almost ready to open -- just need to finish "loading in" the products and get that merchant account. We're very excited about this and I truly believe that, because our products will, for the most part, be unique and out-of-the-ordinary, we should have some success with this online store.

Of course, we still have to apply for our "conditional use" permit for the town (so that we can use a room in the house as a home office), and that will go before the zoning board in mid-September.
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It's that time of year again, and I've started my Christmas shopping. I got some really cute little read-along books for little Brandon, who will be 4 in February. They contain CD/DVD material so that it can be played on a DVD player, CD player or a PC and he can read along with the stories. They're actually useful stories for small children -- they teach them about themselves and emotions and consequences.

Vanessa, who will be TWELVE in February will be difficult to figure out. Last year I gave her a $50 bill that was trapped inside a puzzle cube. Everyone (including her 6 year old sister) could solve the puzzle, but Vanessa didn't want to put the effort into solving it. But, after everyone told her that they wanted some of the money if they solved it and gave it to her, she decided she was on her own and spent almost two months trying to get that $50 out of that puzzle. That was the most she'd played with anything I've bought her to date. Anyway, I hate to always give kids money but she's a "tween" now and just really hard to figure out as far as what she likes and doesn't like.

Annie, who will be eight in March, is a bit easier. She's still a little girl, still loves "yadybugs" and still loves her unicorns and fairies. I'm looking for stuff for her room along these lines. I've already gotten her some stuff from Old Navy.

Cher, who will be six in March, isn't too hard to get stuff for, either. She loves frogs -- anything frogs, like her mother.

Michelle, my oldest daughter, is pretty easy, too. I got her a sweatshirt (like Lisa's apron) that says "Step away from my tools," and a nice warm up jacket from the college I work at. I'm also going to get her the mini-saw attachment for her Dremel tool, along with some other smaller things.

I ordered the new version of Madden NFL Football for Joe, an annual tradition. I also got the complete series of Into the West for Lisa, along with an order for season 3 of The L Word. I got her a router table for her birthday (which is September 2) and will begin to look for things that I think would be useful for her as she does her handiwork for the company. Having wholesale purchase authority, I'm pretty sure I can get her some good stuff through the company, and write it off as business operating expenses. Best of all worlds.
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Only 18 more days until the NFL season starts. And it will open with a special edition of Monday Night Football on Thursday, September 7th -- featuring the Indianapolis Colts against the New York Giants. Peyton Manning against his brother, Eli. This should be a good game.

I decided that I'm no longer going to be a team fan, but instead will be a player fan. And I just love Peyton, have since he first entered the NFL. There's a lot of characteristics reminiscent of John Elway in that guy and I think that's why I like him. It's hard to NOT want to see him succeed, and hopefully this will be his year.

Of course, I'll remain somewhat of a Broncos fan, but it really hasn't been the same since John Elway retired. Along with his retirement, the loss of Ed McCaffrey, Trevor Pryce, Shannon Sharpe and now the offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, the team just doesn't have the same spark. Their 10,000 points of light have dwindled to half that number, if you ask me.
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A news article about our case against my employer came out Friday -- nothing like being behind the times. The ruling came out about 3 or 4 weeks ago now. Slow news is good news?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

OK, Michelle, I'll play!

What language would you like to speak fluently?
Spanish

Sharpies or Bics?
Sharpies

Worst health scare?
precancerous cervix

Title of last book you read?
HTML for Dummies

Green thumb or grim reaper?
Green Thumb!

Organized or disorganized?
Mentally or physically? Both the same, WAY disorganized!

Stick shift or automatic?
Depends -- I love driving a stick but often I find the automatic relaxing and effortless, especially when I'm feeling tired. I own an automatic.

Last time you threw up?
The last time one of the cats yakked on the carpet.

Is there anybody you are really afraid of?
Nuns, drill sergeants, and my mother.

Look to the left of your monitor… what do you see?
My travel coffee mug, a sign that says "If you can keep your head about you when all else are losing theirs, it's just possible that you don't have a good grasp of the situation," and the chaos that is my desktop while I unpack my office.

Do you do your own taxes?
Absolutely

Lights on or off?
At night, every light in the area I'm in is on, even if I'm just sitting and watching television. I like it either way when we...uh...y'know.

Name one thing under your bed right now.
There is no under my bed -- I have a water bed.

Ever had a sexual relationship with a co-worker?
Nope

Favorite candy?
Ferraro Rocher

Any phobias?
Mildly claustrophobic, mildly phobic about mosquitos, and highly phobic about anyone messing around with my face or head.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Shamelessly stolen from another site

When the divorce was final, she spent the first day packing her belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases.

On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things.

On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining room table by candlelight, put on some soft background music and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar and a bottle of Chardonnay.

When she had finished, she went into each and every room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimp shells dipped in caviar, into the hollow of the curtain rods.

She then cleaned up the kitchen and left.

When the husband returned with his new girlfriend, all was bliss for the first few days.

Then slowly, the house began to smell. They tried everything; cleaning, mopping and airing the place out.

Vents were checked for dead rodents and carpets were steam cleaned.

Air fresheners were hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters, during which they had to move out for a few days, and in the end they even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting.

Nothing worked. People stopped coming over to visit. Repairmen refused to work in the house.

The maid quit.

Finally, they could not take the stench any longer and decided to move.

A month later, even though they had cut their price in half, they could not find a buyer for their stinky house. Word got out and eventually even the local Realtors refused to return their calls.

Finally, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to purchase a new place.

The ex-wife called the man and asked how things were going. He told her the saga of the rotting house.

She listened politely and said that she missed her old home terribly, and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for getting the house back.

Knowing his ex-wife had no idea how bad the smell was, he agreed on a price that was about 1/10th of what the house had been worth, but only if she were to sign the papers that very day.

She agreed and within the hour his lawyers delivered the paperwork.

A week later the former husband and his girlfriend stood smiling as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home...

...including the curtain rods.



I LOVE A HAPPY ENDING, DON'T YOU?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Doing Business As...

Yep, we did it. We filed our D.B.A. on Friday and are awaiting our authorization to collect sales tax, as well as our OBPRA kit. Our D.B.A. name is GoldMar Enterprises. We have our own domain name, although our website is under construction and probably won't be open for business until we get that damned sales tax thing put to bed (they're saying 20 business days -- or 4 weeks). We've got another task to accomplish, and that's getting software to integrate with the website so that we can accept credit cards both online and in person. We have to get a permit from the town to run the office out of our home, and that has to go before the zoning board in October for approval. In the meantime, we have to have a sign in our front yeard notifying our neighbors about the zoning board meeting so they can add their input, if they have any.

It's been a couple of weeks since I last updated this blog -- actually, I'm quite surprised at that. But then again, I'm not.

We put in the new floor at the house last weekend, finally. It took us two full days, with Lisa doing all the cutting and Mary and I laying the laminate and tapping it into place. I took a full swing with the hammer and smashed the cajunga out of my left index finger. It's completely black under the nail now...I suspect I'll lose the nail. They should name a dance after that because I swear my feet were not flat on the floor for more than 10 minutes, as I was dancing and hopping around.

We're slowly getting things put back together, but still have a lot of stuff packed away because we still have to do some of the trim work and all the moldings have to be replaced. My computer was packed away for almost a week.

At the same time, I had my office completely packed up because they were rennovating the office. They removed the furniture, removed the old carpet, removed the asbestos tile from underneath, painted, put new tile in, and replaced the furniture. Today I begin the task of unpacking THAT mess, too. I'm sick of having to squeeze past things at work and at home!

I spent a couple of hours in the social security office Tuesday morning to learn that the reason my father's social security check hadn't been deposited is because he's not eligible for it while he's incarcerated. He's being publicly supported, so it makes sense to me. However, I'm sure it was a blow to him when he got my letter telling him that.

His half-brother has been reported missing, and has been missing for two weeks now. Everyone pretty much believes that they'll find him dead somewhere, most likely in the woods behind his house, and with a collection of booze bottles scattered around his body.

My father was transferred from the maximum security reception station in Elmira to a medium security facility at Groveland on Friday. Saturday night I got a phone call from the prison telling me that my father had been sent to the hospital (a civilian hospital) and was in I.C.U., but not because he needed intensive care. Apparently it's the only place they can "lock down" the inmates when they go to the hospital. However, I can't get any information about my father's condition or what's wrong with him. I drove to the hospital yesterday, but they wouldn't let me see him as it wasn't "visiting day" at the prison. And, of course, they were very tight-lipped about him.

Now, I understand why HIPAA is a good thing, but it does go too far sometimes, I think. I'm extremely concerned that he's given up now and that he won't play an active role in his own health care. He was extremely depressed to start with, and now with his brother missing and the thought that he doesn't have a cent to his name, nor will he anytime soon, he's lost hope. Given his medical condition, I was told that he probably won't be "allowed" to work to even earn that pittance of fifteen cents an hour.

To make matters worse, when I called the prison to find out about how I can see my father while he's in the hospital, at first they said my father wasn't a "guest" there, then I was told that nobody really knew what the rules were regarding visitation at the hospital...

Ay yi yi!

And I thought things would be calmer once he went to prison!

Silly me.......

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


It was 80 degrees already at 6 o'clock this morning. And it's going to get worse. They're calling for air temperatures to reach 100 degrees with the dewpoint well into the 70s, causing a heat index of well over 110 degrees.

Weatherbug is chirping away with excessive heat warnings, and air stagnation warnings.

I have lived in all sorts of climates -- the tropics, the sub-tropics, , southwestern US, and New England (northeast US) and not once have I suffered for the weather as I have this summer. Of course, I realize that menopause plays a huge role, but this weather is oppressive. It's difficult to walk because it seems like you're walking through some sort of invisible barrier. It's hard to breathe.

We've been letting the cats come in our room at night because we have airconditioning in it. Simba sleeps at the foot of the bed. Cedar sleeps in a box in the closet (the one for our air conditioner). Tigga sleeps on the floor next to the bed because the old girl just can't get up on the bed on her own. And these three cats just DON'T go into the same room all at once.

I worry about Joe working outside at the garden center. I've lectured him extensively about taking in fluids as much as he can. He's smart about hydration but tends to only hydrate when he feels dry. I told him he needs to make sure to hydrate as a preventive measure.

I was in the grocery store last night and saw a man sitting in a chair (a kitchen display) who didn't look all that good. I continued to shop while sort of keeping an eye on him. All of a sudden he went *SPLAT* on the floor. His hands sort of shook and he rolled a little from side-to-side. It looked like some sort of mini-convulsion. I went over to him and as I did so, a man stepped up and put his hand out to the man and said "Here, let me help you up." I barked out (surprising myself) "NO, don't stand him up unless he's ready to get up on his own!" Ignoring me, the man yanked the fellow up off the ground, sat him in the chair, and walked away. Lots of people standing around looking, but nobody DOING anything.

I went to the man and could see that his face was beet red. He was disoriented as well. A woman was standing there with him and I asked if she was with him. She said she was and that he'd fallen and hit his head some time ago and suffered from these "spells" from time to time. I touched his cheek and he felt hot to the touch. I told her to stay there with him and I'd go get some water. I hurried over to the restaurant section and asked an attendant for a cloth of some kind, and got some ice water from the machine. I took it back to him and asked him to just sip it a little. I put some of the cool water on the cloth and put it on the back of his neck. In just a couple of minutes, his color began to get more normal. I think he'd gotten overheated.

I told the woman that if that ever happened again in a public place to NOT let anyone pick him up because, if he'd had a seizure or convulsions and wasn't through, he'd end up back on the floor with the potential to really hurt himself -- crack his head open. She said that made a lot of sense and that she'd remember that next time.

We're currently living in rubble.

We ordered that new floor on July 7th. We were told it would be in within 7-10 days. It's called "Western Hemlock."

That same day, we tore out the carpeting from the entire upstairs and tore out the floor and the underlayment in the kitchen. I have a 35" television sitting on a lawn cart in front of the entertainment center where it usually resides, waiting. My refrigerator is in a room other than the kitchen, as it made no sense to move it out, in, out, and in again.

And we waited for that floor.

It finally came in on Saturday, while we were in the midst of painting the kitchen. And now, it's too frickin' hot to even make an attempt to put that new floor in. It'll have to wait for the coming weekend when it will be *only* in the lower 80s.

And, from the "Be Careful What You Wish For" files:

A Macedon man is being sued by his employer for faking his son's death and failing to show up for work. Lancope Incorporated says shortly after Michael Ruffalo started his new job he told his boss his 3-year-old son was sick with leukemia. The company gave him a paid leave that stretched for two months and was extended after he told them his son died of the disease. Later his boss says he learned Ruffalo's son was alive and healthy when he tried to send flowers to the family.

The suit says he pulled the same scam on at least two other companies. Lancope is seeking to recover $40, 151 in salary and benefits as well as unspecified punitive damages.

I cannot imagine, even as a JOKE, pretending that my child died. Imagine how this man would feel if something actually DID happen to his son now...

Only five weeks left before the opening of the 2006 football season! Yay! Pre-season starts on Sunday with the Hall of Fame Game. This year's inductees into the Hall of Fame include Troy Aikman, John Madden, Warren Moon, and the late Reggie White. And, with the DirectTV NFL Sunday Ticket package, you can betchyer bippie we'll be enjoying another season of football and just lovin' life. Last year I had 4 televisions set up to watch two Direct TV channels, and two local broadcasts. With 4 receivers this year, I'm thinking I might have to expand my watching resources. *smirk*