Kinda Blue

Describes my computer over the weekend. I was installing some updates like you do, and suddenly, the screen turns that dreaded shade of blue and I see in big letters: RECOVERY. Your PC needs to be repaired. No one wants to see that. I let the IT department (aka The BaldMan) know and he came down to see what was what. It took pretty much the rest of the weekend to sort it out. I seem to be back up and running fine now. These are the times I am ever so grateful that we do daily backups of the computers. I back up my writing to several different places, so I would not have lost anything I’d done, but it would have been time-consuming to have to restart from basically scratch without the backed up data. So far, so good today.

I took our ElderCat, Amber, to the vet last week. She’s 17. That’s her in the header picture. Her exam went well, and nothing presented itself during the exam to be too concerning. We did bloodwork because she hasn’t had any in a few years. And that’s where the problems were revealed. She’s in stage three kidney disease. It’s not good, but with good management, we could have her for a year or more. Or less. It’s hard to tell with kidney stuff. She’s on a special diet, which so far, she’s been eating if I mix a bit of the stuff she was eating in with it. A lot of cats just plain refuse to eat the prescription stuff, so if I can get her to eating mostly that, I will be happy. She’s drinking and peeing well, so we don’t have to do anything there right now. To see her, you’d never know she was sick. She’s thin, but she was never a big cat, and at her age, some weight loss is normal. She’s loud, jumps on and off furniture and counters (where she is not supposed to be!) with no problems, and will eat whatever I give her. So, we just support her as we can until she is tired of fighting. I hope that’s not for a good while yet.

In other pet news, I got talking buttons for Lambeau. Some of you know what I am talking about, but they are small buttons that you record words or commands on and then, teach the dog to push the correct button for what he wants. I am always looking for new things to teach him. It’s good for him to be engaged in learning and using his brain, but he also does pick up new tricks pretty quickly. It can be a struggle to find something new to work on. The buttons should have some practical uses, once he gets the idea of multiples. We are working with just a single now. I recorded “Food” onto it, and he has to ask for his food. Took him about 3-3 1/2 days to get the idea of pushing it before he gets breakfast and dinner. Now, we have to generalize it to any food, so he starts to get the idea that he can ask for food (and get it for now. The intermittent rewards will come later.) Then we can add a second button. I think that may take more time to figure out, because the buttons look alike. There are stickers to put on them for different things, and they sit in a mat that can be configured in multiple ways, so he will have to learn which is which. It may take some time, but hey, we aren’t in a contest! It’s just something else to work with him on.

My knees are still holding out okay. There is a bit of pain if I am on them for long periods, and the weather doesn’t always help, either. But since the problem is arthritis, that’s going to be ongoing. As long as I can do the stuff I want to without the constant, excessive pain, I will be happy.

And for today’s disaster, I needed to bake a small loaf of bread for tonight’s dinner. All well and good, except I wanted to proof it in the oven since the house is a bit chilly today. So, I set the oven to its lowest temp and let it heat up. Put the dough in and forgot to turn the oven off. Even at the low temp, I think it was enough to kill off most of the yeast because it didn’t rise after shaping. So, I am making a starter of sorts with warm water, yeast, a bit of sugar to jumpstart it, and flour to keep the bread itself from getting too slack. Kind of a cross between a thick levain and an Italian biga. The plan is to let it get started a bit, then knead that into the dough I made earlier to give it some live yeast to work with. We’ll see. If not, I can always put some biscuits or flat bread together quickly at dinner time. This is what I get for trying to accomplish something useful after not sleeping last night!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Coming in May 2022

“Crossed Wires and Other Very Short Stories”. Twelve Scifi and twelve fantasy short stories that can each be read in minutes.

I have written science fiction, fantasy, and urban fantasy stories. There are novels, novellas, and shorter pieces to fit everyone’s reading time. There are even some free stories, both here on the site and in other places. You can go here to find out more about the books I have published. They are available at Amazon, Smashwords, and most ebook retailers. Thank You!

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