September 25, 2012

Norwegian Humor

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September 12, 2012

Patient Woodworker

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September 11, 2012


I generally take a GPS for athletes with me when I get some exercise. Beyond my position, it records my heart rate, my cycling pedal cadence, and one of these days I'll buy a foot pod so it can track my stride cadence.

Anyway, here's the graph of my heart rate during today's ride:

I don't recall being chased by any large predators during the opening stages! At a guess, some radio interference messed up the communication between the heart rate monitor and the GPS unit.

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Poking and Prodding

Little Java got his first vet visit today. He was quite friendly, to the extent that the vet complained it was hard to hear his heartbeat over his purring. On the other hand, he did not particularly enjoy getting his temperature taken, and expressed his displeasure with claws. Although he was using them to try and escape, not to fight, which is something.

He's got eye infections, and we're dosing them with eye-drops; there is already a marked reduction in the nasty discharge, so the meds seem to be working. The eye drops also appear to feel nice, because he doesn't struggle at all when we apply them. Beyond the eye infections he's got an upper respiratory infection, which is very common in cats that have spent time in a shelter. (We got him from the local SPCA.) It's viral, so it should clear up on its own.

Going to a vet in the morning, we only encountered two other patients. One was a white cat, who never left his carrier; that cat and Java meowed at each other meaningfully. The other animal was a large dog, whose owner told me was a rescue case. The poor dog was terrified, trembling and shying away from even a 5-pound kitten. I hope that dog gains some mental equilibrium with love and time.

Confusingly, the large dog and the white cat in the carrier had the same name. One of the coincidences of life, I guess.

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September 07, 2012


Hil and I have welcomed someone new into the house.

He's male and about 4.5 months old. We're not sure about a name yet, but we're trying out "Sven" to start. (Hil was not enthused when I suggested "Albrecht von Wallenstein" even though we could shorten it to "Wally".

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September 04, 2012

The Cliffs of Dover

When I read history books, I make marginal notes, which I suppose connects me to the traditions of scholars for as long as books have existed. This evening, my pencil was getting dull, as the book I was reading was causing me to take more copious notes than usual. But I was at my GF's place, while my pencil sharpener was in my apartment, as were my pocketknives.

But earlier today, I had done some wiring work in her basement, fixing some of the hinky stuff the prior owners of the house had done. A very fine carpenter had lived here, and did a lot of great carpentry work. But as electricians go, he made a fine carpenter, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, while doing the wiring, I had noticed a pencil sharpener attached to one of his workbenches! It's a nice classic model of the sort that are probably still found in elementary classrooms all around the world, with the wheel on the front that lets you select the size of the pencil shaft to insert.

It was packed full of shavings, and the GF said she didn't even know it was down there. Those shavings have surely been there since the carpenter died, quite a few years ago. Spooky.

With the shavings gone, I inserted my pencil… or rather, tried and failed. Visual inspection revealed that someone had shoved a stick of chalk into the sharpener, and it had broken off in there. Who does that? I was told that, sadly, the previous owners did not have grandchildren coming to visit, so I am still mystified.

I spent about ten minutes trying to take the cutting cylinders apart to extract the chalk. The mechanism was not apparently designed with user servicing in mind. It took those ten minutes for me to realize that chalk is probably softer than wood. After than revelation, I just jammed my dull pencil into the appropriate opening and turned the crank until the chalk was reduced to dust, and got me a nice sharp point. Victory was mine!

This was the most interesting thing to happen today, because it's been pouring rain all day and I've been feeling cooped up.

On the other hand, there is likely to be big news Friday.

Posted by: Boviate at 11:16 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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September 02, 2012

Kids Everywhere

Today the GF and I drove for a bit more than an hour to go party with her old college buddies. There were nine adults and four children, all boys, age 24 ± 6 months. We were in a single room, with a vaulted ceiling, which echoed mightily. Then the kids figured out that they could scoot their plastic chairs along the hard floor, and the chair legs made the most astonishing noise. Shrieks of glee ensued.

The chair scooting game didn't get old for the whole five hours we were there. I think her friends may think I'm antisocial, because I spent a good half the party hiding elsewhere with a massive headache. They were nice people, I'd just rather visit them without young children in attendance.

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