November 20, 2012


by fluffy at 8:31 AM

dancing reminded me that I haven't posted any updates about my cats, which are apparently the most important thing I could talk about right now (which is probably true).

It only took a few days for Werner and Fiona to start getting along with each other, and within a week they were even sharing the same surface. They're still not QUITE sleeping together, and Werner doesn't seem to want to play with Fiona, but Fiona's a bundle of infinite chaotic energy and these days Werner would rather just hang out and chill.

Having Fiona around does make Werner a lot less neurotic, which is good. So even if they're not doing anything together (and they might be when I'm not around — it's possible that when I'm home they both would rather spend time with me than with each other) it's still had the desired effect of making Werner generally happier, or at least less difficult.

Fiona seems to be of average intelligence for a cat (whereas Werner is some sort of feline super-genius with an obvious level of self-awareness that most cats simply do not possess). Like Werner she likes having constant attention, and vocalizes quite a lot. Unlike Werner she'll actually associate with strangers who come by.

She's also a lot more brash and curious than him; we've had a long-running thing where she tries to trick me into letting her out and behaves as if that's just the natural order of things. For example, Spud and his family were over a week ago, and when they headed out the door, Fiona followed them with a "oh I guess I should be going too!" demeanor. And of course every time I open the door to go out (or come home) she tries to escape, but she doesn't run out, she just sort of saunters. So far she's only made it into the hallway before she gets confused about where to go next, at least. (Also, she's microchipped, in case she DOES somehow manage to get out.)

She's also spoiled rotten already. It's amazing how quickly she went from "yay I have a new home!" to "GIMME TREATS!!! I want what you're eating! PLAY WITH ME! Where's my toys?!" princess mode.

She also loves to play with her toys a lot, and ends up hiding them in weird places. Every few days I have to remove a cache of toys from under the oven, and I suspect there's quite a few behind the washing machine (which isn't easy to get behind). Fortunately I have a lot of them.

October 27, 2012

Kitty deux ()

by fluffy at 3:08 PM

For the last few weeks, Werner has been getting progressively more and more skittish about being home alone all day, especially with it being dark out most of the time and with my new home not having a good view for him to appreciate during the day. So today I went to Paws and adopted a second cat. She (currently unnamed but I'm taking suggestions) is about 1.5 years old and was formerly a stray, but she gets along well with other cats and is quite playful.

I tried doing the easy-and-slow introduction thing by keeping her in my bedroom, but she was meowing very loudly and pathetically and Werner was getting suspicious anyway, so I opened my bedroom door and let her wander around upstairs unsupervised. Then she made her way downstairs to where Werner was hanging out. Werner saw her, puffed up and hissed, and she walked right up to him and rubbed noses with him, then walked right past him. Werner was more than a little confused by this.

Anyway, it's been a couple hours and she's still just wandering around and he's still upset at her presence and lurking in dark corners and hissing and growling whenever she wanders by, but it always takes a few days for cats to get acquainted with each other, and Werner's been the only cat in the house for close to a year now so he'll have to readjust to having an actual friend around.

I'm thinking I'll name her "Lady." (She's multi-colored, and her meow sounds like her potential namesake did in the pilot.)

August 28, 2012

Updates (, , , )

by fluffy at 12:48 AM

I guess it's been a while since I've posted, so here it is in brief:

  • Job is going pretty good so far. The way computers are set up now is very different than five years ago, so I was able to actually figure out a decent work setup that works well. Also, my coworkers are pretty excellent, and in particular I'm getting along well with one of the engineers who is an old friendly curmudgeon from Syria. I'm also getting a handle on the codebase quicker than I expected, and this team is way more laid-back than anyone else I've worked with.
  • My offer on the Firehouse 25 condo still stands, and I just accepted an offer on my condo in SF (whee). The offer I accepted wasn't as high as I was hoping for but it was still above my asking price and makes the timing work out really nicely (and my realtor pointed out that because of labor day and Burning Man I'm unlikely to get more offers in the next couple weeks anyway, and then that means it'll be sitting on the market for a while and that has a way of tainting things). I'm still making a decent profit on it anyway.
  • I got sick of not having any guitars with me and I figure I need a better 6-string acoustic, and Guitar Center is just up the street from where I'm staying, so I figured...
  • Werner is still going nuts, but hopefully he won't have to put up with this crappy apartment much longer.
  • The ISP situation in Seattle proper is pretty dismal. Looks like the only real choice right now is Comcast. Maybe Paul Allen will stop working on his urban-renewal vanity projects and start trying to establish a FTTH provider to improve the city that's already here. But I'm not holding my breath.
  • My wrists still suck, my butt still sucks, and I still have anxiety issues, but somehow life goes on.

August 13, 2012

On the catwalk ()

by fluffy at 11:24 PM

So, training Werner to be on a leash is one of the more useful things I've done with him. When we were travelling I found it easier to deal with him on the leash than to try to get him into his carrier (when taking him between the car and the hotel room, for example).

Today he was completely wigging out because of how small and constrained this temporary apartment is, so today after dinner I put him on the leash and gave him a walk around the apartment building. We went out on the second-floor deck, as well, and while he was freaking out a little he generally behaved really well.

Then someone else in the building was walking her dog, and while the dog just looked curiously at Werner, Werner was extremely scared. His tail went full-on bottle brush. But he still just stayed put and didn't make any noises, and the dog owner and I chatted a bit and then finally she went on her way, and Werner calmed down.

I let him lead the way for most of the rest (although I encouraged him in the direction of our apartment), and for the most part there were no more incidents, except that he tried hiding from someone else walking through the hall, but it was easy enough to keep him put and then the rest was fine, and then we got inside and he seemed to be feeling a lot better.

So, yeah. Leash-training cats: not a bad idea.

August 10, 2012

Made it to Seattle (, , )

by fluffy at 7:04 PM

Werner behaved the whole way; at one point he did come in the front and tried to get in my lap but a stern "no" convinced him to just sit next to me. Driving in downtown Seattle is trickier than I remember it being, but I pretty much avoided it the whole time I lived here anyway so whatever.

The soulless corporate housing is, unsurprisingly, soulless and corporate. Just another incentive to buy a new place sooner rather than later. Sure don't want to spend the full two months here. Werner's running around the place trying to find out if there's more than there first appears to be. (There isn't. This apartment is actually smaller than the hotel room I stayed in last night.)

Doing a load of laundry, probably going to take a shower. Would be nice to meet up with local friends for dinner but that seems unlikely at this point, so maybe I'll just reacquaint myself with Belltown.

August 9, 2012

Werner is an Excellent Cat (, , )

by fluffy at 9:15 PM

Today the movers came to take away all my stuff. Werner was a bit freaked out by all the activity but I ended up putting him out on the balcony and he was really well-behaved. Then the movers finished around 1:30, and Werner was freaked out by everything being empty, but I was able to get him into his carrier and that into the car. I just left the carrier open the whole time, and he was ridiculously well-behaved! He meowed a bit at the beginning but then he had a grand old time looking out the windows and then eventually just napped a bunch, and he always stayed out of the way. At a few rest stops I actually woke him up to make sure he was okay and not, like, dying of heat stroke or something, and he was totally fine.

At one stop he was clearly annoyed with driving and kept on getting in my lap and wouldn't let me start the car, but I snuggled with him for a few minutes and that seemed to satisfy him.

Anyway, now I'm in Ashland, OR, at the La Quinta (which I planned on because they're specifically pet-friendly). I ended up in the "Shakespeare Suite," which was their only single-bed room left for tonight. Maybe I should have made a reservation, but I can't complain, as this room is ridiculously nice, at least by La Quinta standards, and with a reservation I'd have ended up in a normal room instead. I think it's intended to be a honeymoon suite. I'm not sure why anyone would have their honeymoon in Ashland, OR, but whatever. Werner's just hanging out and being awesome, and I'm trying to catch up on all the Internet I missed today. The hotel has free wi-fi but it's pretty crappy so I'm just tethering my phone anyway.

And now, I'm going to make use of this jacuzzi, because I mean, it's paid for so might as well, right?

February 25, 2012

Catwalk ()

by fluffy at 2:11 PM

I've been slowly training Werner to go on walks.

I'm trying to stick to the protocol in that article, although I'm probably pushing Werner a lot harder than I should. At this point I've managed to take him out twice, once last Sunday and once this morning. Getting him into the back yard is a bit of a challenge but when I get him there he enjoys himself for a little while before he gets freaked out and wants to go back inside. When I do get him back inside he gets really confused by how different floors work; the hallway to the yard is downstairs from me, and he always tries to go into my downstairs neighbor's unit. Carrying him back up the stairs when he's already freaked out is even more difficult than carrying him down them to begin with.

So far he seems to enjoy the yard, though. It's just the getting between there and the apartment that's a problem.

Also, once he's outside he has absolutely no interest in the treats.

February 16, 2012

Robots (, )

by fluffy at 9:43 PM

Werner is less-than-pleased, but my home seems to be filling up with robots as of late.

To wit, in addition to the two Keepons, I also now have a Sphero, a Neato Robotic Vacuum (which is so far way better than the Roomba ever was), and a Homedics shiatsu massager. The last one isn't generally considered a robot, but I can't really see anything about it that's any less robotty than, say, the Neato, and it's a labor-saving device that does something automatically and makes loud motor noises and keeps me from playing with Werner so in his mind it's all the same anyway.

I also got a PS Vita and a bunch of games for it and have basically just played a lot of Lumines because what other games do you need, anyway?

Basically my twelve-year-old self is really happy right now.

December 28, 2011

Cat update ()

by fluffy at 2:58 PM

At this point, Werner is basically Toby, only bluish-gray, and with a Shooby-esque tendency to headbutt (and Shooby-esque butt hygiene, unfortunately). We're getting along fine although he seems to get bored easily.

Also he's a dangerously smart cat. He's figured out how to open my closet doors, so it's hard to keep things off-limits from him. He especially likes the front hall closet, which is full of dust and crap and also potentially-dangerous tools that I'd rather he not prowl around near. But it's mostly the dust that I'd like him to avoid.

I think the big breakthrough came on Saturday when I decided to give him a bath (because his fur was filthy). He actually didn't mind it too much, and he's been a lot more affectionate since then. I did make the mistake of using some fairly fragrant shampoo on him, though, and he still smells of it, which makes me think that he hasn't been keeping himself clean since then, probably because of said shampoo. I think I'll just keep bathing him once a week or until he stops putting up with it.

December 25, 2011

Cat status ()

by fluffy at 1:47 AM

Or "catus," if you will.

April 15, 2009

Platypus facts, for furry artists: (, , )

by fluffy at 8:37 AM
Dear furry artists who insist on drawing platypi platypodes:

  • They are not birds. The "duck" bill is an example of convergent evolution. They do not have feathers. They are not in any way "avian."
  • Their eggs are soft-shelled and leathery like a snake's, not hard like a chicken's.
  • The tail is shaped somewhat like a beaver's, but it's not actually a beaver tail (to start with, it's furred); it's a rudder and a fat reserve, not a piece of construction equipment. This also does not mean that they are in any other way like a beaver. In particular they don't have buckteeth, or in fact teeth at all. Moreover, this means that their tails are not like that of the following species:
    • Fox
    • Wolf
    • Squirrel
    • Dinosaur
    • Whatever the hell it is has long flowing locks of hair instead of a tail
  • They do not have breasts or nipples. They secrete milk directly through the skin. I suppose you could take some artistic license and make them a bit curvy but they still shouldn't have gigantic nipples with areolae.
  • Being monotremes (which literally means "one hole"), they have a cloaca, which the penis or vagina is hidden in. A hermaphroditic platypus would probably look just like a male platypus. They would not let it all "hang out."
  • Also, if you really must insist on drawing one in a state of arousal, the penis has four heads on it.

January 21, 2004

New and improved (, )

by fluffy at 5:18 PM

January 2, 2004

November 1, 2003

Things that go *splat* in the night (, )

by fluffy at 7:30 PM
Or: why I had to do a load of laundry at 4:30 AM

October 11, 2003

Coming home (, , )

by fluffy at 8:54 PM
The moment we were all waiting for...

October 4, 2003

Searching (, )

by fluffy at 10:21 PM

September 25, 2003

A tale of two Shoobies (, )

by fluffy at 12:27 AM
While I was in DC, my cat, Shooby, decided to wander off for a few days. He does this now and then, but never has he done it at Delphine's house. Hopefully he's okay...

And then I also just found out that Shooby Taylor who I named my cat after died back in June, but nobody who actually gave a shit found out until September 9th. Argh.

August 30, 2003

Growth Spurt (, )

by fluffy at 12:49 PM