much better aqi, all things considered

It’s dropped 20 points since 1 am (now 145 LATER AT 8:30 AM UP PAST 160 AGAIN), and should get within kissing distance of normal – under 40 – sometime by Friday.

Buster has been extremely variable about wanting to train. Some mornings he’s all over it, but the last couple of mornings he wants to just be handed treats, so I cut short the training this am after one treat and we’ll try again in the early afternoon. This morning first he huffed training and then he begged for it and we got three paw claps and a jump and chase and a run and chase in.

My experiment, stealing a cushion off one of the downstairs sofas and using it for a backboard, is a success – however finding a replacement pillow even at places like Bed Bath and Beyond that are supposed to specialize in shit like this has proven rather difficult. I will ask Paul to assist with cushion shopping today, then I can put the danged cushion back.

Jeff took me to breakfast at IHOP yesterday and I just ate what was left of the leftovers. We had the leftover sushi for supper last night as the folks kindly shared out leftovers from Paul’s bday.

Doctor’s office phoned me saying they wanted to schedule ‘a medical review with an RN’ and I told them to go fuck themselves until after the 22nd when I (hopefully) get my glucose tolerance test. What the hell is wrong with these people? Why do a medical review when the single most important piece of test data isn’t available? Anyway, I wasn’t as rude as I sound but I took no shit, I assure you.

The hot stone massage at Head to Toes day spa with Pauline was AMAZING, I’m still feeling comfort right into my bones.  I may book another one next month just to have something to look forward to. But I suppose I should probably wait at least that long to ensure I neither caught nor brought anything.

14,487

Review of day:

Didn’t drink enough water yesterday. It needs to be less than half tea, my liquid consumption. Did practice x 3 instruments; did walk 1.5 k, did empty the sink and fill the dishwasher; did not meditate or take my bp and pulseox; I did not work on a manuscript; I did take my pill and brush my hair and teeth; I did my shoulder exercises. No laundry yesterday or today; no osteofit, no dejunking yesterday.

Anarchist circus cat training routine

There isn’t one. Training happens when Jeff is not in the kitchen (Buster’s operable intelligence plummets when the Man with the Can shows up) and Buster and I are. Paul has trained with Buster twice, and the second time you couldn’t get the shit eating grin off his face with a cold chisel, as Buster was particularly aerobatic in absconding with his treat.

Normally training starts sometime between 4:30 and 7:00 am, any day, with him doing a half-wind around my leg, usually my right leg, and he mews. Something soft and undemanding, just letting me know that he’s there.

Then he paces off to the end of one of the carpets mOm made for Jeff’s old place in Victoria, turns, sits, and stares at me. I fetch, or have already gotten, a few treats from the treat bag (Temptations Tasty Chicken Cat Treats… he has not liked other kinds so far but his loss was cheerfully consumed by crows and trash pandas) and I hold one in my hand above his head, anywhere from 20 to 70 cm over him, where it is visible between my fingers.

I never, ever fake having a treat.

One of the things I read about training cats is that while there are cats who will work for praise alone, that is not the way to bet during training. Not only should you give a treat for ever trick essayed, you should reward the cat for (for example) being cute, or reissue a treat when the one you threw (horror) flew under the dishwasher (which was how I learned that Buster has got a solid claw into the thigh of the concept of object permanence, the cognitive fundamental upon which non-computational style thinking depends). Whenever the cat is being attentive and pliable in its behaviour, that is when to push, and you have to push especially hard when the cat briefly wakes up and starts training you.

Buster started napping in a kitchen chair. I’d hold a treat over his head and he’d wake up and jump for it. Within days he was jumping into the chair during the training sessions and the reason he liked doing that is because it livened things up; if he dropped it, as he infrequently does, it can careen off in pretty much any direction, which means he must engage his ears and reflexes and ability to dodge shoes and furniture to be able to pinpoint it before it quits moving.

I am moving some of the aspects of training into words and gesture.  I gesture with both hands to say ‘all done’ when I think the useful training’s done (otherwise he just hoses you down for cat treats). Also I say ‘good boy’ anytime he is behaving, performatively or not, in a way I find pleasing or cooperative or appropriate. So he can misinterpret what he needs to pay attention to, but he knows he’s fine. I believe I am very close to having him understand ‘up’ and ‘down’ as long as there is a treat in the context, and I also believe that it will be a while before I can get him to understand it without a treat in my hand.

Buster is never forced to train. If he feels lazy for days at a time and just lies on the kitchen floor and allows me to pelt him (I can ding him quite hard, but I never aim for his head) with cat treats until he gets up and dances all around like he hails from Kansas City, that’s okay; and if he then gobbles down on each of the cat treats as it reluctantly releases itself from his lavish, explosively soft and furry pelt, that’s okay too. Buster has a lot of prance and self-respect, and he does like showing off how very much his paws are like hands and fingers – he’s continually coming up with eye popping variants on the ‘basic two-paw clap catch’.

These brief retreats into a philosophical megrim of feline life – perhaps the grandson has been here twice in two days, perhaps the construction noise is getting to him, perhaps the fleas are driving him into a state – are to be expected. Buster is studious and consistent, but he is neither a machine nor a true performer, inured to crowds. This is why I am very slowly cleaning my kitchen. Soon, the performances shall begin, and Buster will be the master of the kitchen circus with a video camera to commemorate him. I have no idea what tricks he will perform. All I know is that I’ve been hiding from the world his clever, precise mastery of hacky-sacking cat treats off his wrists, and he’s only going to get cleverer still, because what Buster does is challenge himself. I have provided parameters within which he can demonstrate skill, and he’s the one that brings it, at this point I’m pretty much dispensing cat treats and fangirling while he does ever more improbable and amusing things.

trending on twitter

Header media

this coffee table book is currently trending on Twitter

mOm and pOp of course recognize it – it’s been floating around their living room since the year it was published. At the time, the concept did not exist – that hundreds of photographers, professional and otherwise, were supposed to go forth and take a picture on the same day for curation and collection as a snapshot of the zeitgeist.

Since then, dozens upon dozens of books have been published along this theme, for dozens of countries. This kind of omnibus album became popular.

People have been posting pics from inside the book and making hilarious, occasionally anxious comments about them. It’s great. And that poor cat. And what is the baseball for? is she going to talk to the priest about his handsiness? it looks like a confirmation dress…

and Canada, it was qwhite something then

Also from social media, figureoutthesea AKA Nicolas Demers on Instagram took this at Deer Lake – quite the action shot eh??? He has tons of amazing bird photos, the abovenoted link goes to his blog with better res pics hint hint mOm.

Hummingbird @ Deer Lake, credit figureoutthesea

THE INTERNET HAS A CAT AND IT PURRS headphones or good speakers required.

 

THIS IS KOYUKI

He is a ‘cat monk’ in Japan. Nice blink, Koyuki.

Brief walk with Paul yesterday. Weather outrageously glorious. Four hundred words of fanfic. No practicing of instruments.

Katie will never read this, or not likely read this, but this is for her. Image

SPRITES

Image

PHOTO CREDIT STEPHEN HUMMEL MCDONALD OBSERVATORY FORT DAVIS TEXAS from an extensive wild storm in May of 2020

listening to Oumou Sangaré on Spotify

the album is called Seya

Kept Buster in overnight, let him out at 4:30.

Trying to think what else to do today besides go for a walk with Paul.

I have a lot of swirling thoughts in my head

Once upon a time
there was a staple gun
it mostly was for work
but sometimes was for fun
when there were bills to post
and scores to settle
we could do it all
with little chunks of metal

Picture the tune for this as something like a fifties pablum ballad

Training Buster

I thought of training Miss Margot

to be a circus cat but she wasn’t really ept enough. Buster,

however, has the combination of smarts, suckiness and athleticism which makes for a perfect circus cat. His contemplation time is 5-10 seconds, as opposed to the 18-20 seconds it took Margot to work anything out. (All cats have a response time to inputs, unless you’re dropping something on them or they’re actively in danger. It’s not the only thing I gauge intelligence on but it’s quite indicative.)

This morning, he announced (body language, he’s a quiet critter normally) that he wanted to train. He flopped on the rug (which our mOm made….) and I bounced a couple of treats over to him. It seems weird to start training by offering treats for no harder a task than showing up in the kitchen, but Buster wants to know if I’m going to keep loving him even if he’s feeling lazy, so I bounced the treats. Then he got up and wound himself around my ankles making very quiet mews, so I asked him to jump for treats. And he did, twice. Then he jumped onto the tuffet and stared meaningfully at me. When he sits nicely on the tuffet he gets a reward. I gave him a treat and he dropped it from his paw onto the floor. He just stared at it and I picked it up and put it back in front of him.

He mewed after he finished eating it, and then I put the next treat in the air above the chair next to the tuffet. I said jump, and HE DID, HE JUMPED OVER TO THE OTHER CHAIR, and then jumped up for his treat. Then we did the ‘cool down’ which is him running after treats along the kitchen floor, which can be marvellously entertaining, and then I gave him a pat, told him he was a good boy, and gave him the sign language for ‘all done’, so he knows it’s over (I’m trying to do that all the time now when I’m done with whatever activity, cleaning him or treats or grooming.)

It’s May and it’s just so frikking cold all the time. It’s not my imagination I just checked the data for May 2019. If this is another ‘no sun summer’ I’ma gonna be choked. I think we had the aircon on this time last year at least once.

My current fave pic of Katie

My current fave pic of Keith:

My fave pic of Paul, or among them anyway.

alex on Skype alex on walk

Social distancing walk today with Katie and Alex. It was brief, he was very very rangy and needed a nap. He got his little mask.

I’m on skype at live.allegra.sloman. I know the fOlks don’t want it, but it sure would be nice.

 

Felids get coronavirus, so do ferrets, according to a different source.

Image

Peter Kropotkin.

don’t Pyotr have the most excellent beard tho

today’s non-events

Got into a beatdown with a bunch of one of the most self-righteous pot activists (like there’s another fucking kind) on twitter today.

Come ON I smoke, but I don’t smoke and blow smoke in the faces of the allergic and the elderly, and they’re announcing it’s their RIGHT, because this is VANCOUVER, home of TOLERANCE. Yeah I’ll believe that when Canada gives back the unceded lands, you unregenerate failure of logic. I’m like a homophobe for harshing their mellow. Srsly. Got accused of equivalency to homophobia for objecting to people dousing the entire west end in pot smoke for their stupid fucking 420 festival (which leaves heaps of trash mounded everywhere and they’re all cryface because they didn’t get a fucking permit.) F*ck me!

I realized that when you put asterisks in f*cking swearwords you’re putting a leedle asshole right in the meedle of the word and since when you’re swearing there’s usually an asshole involved, it’s mesmerizingly poifect.

I love Buster, he’s an amazing cat. And he loves me too, I know it. I don’t think Miss Margot cares if I live or die, but Buster does.

My latest piece of fanfic smut has more than five hundred likes (it’s cute and hot, so there)

I’ve written a BDSM scene in the same ‘verse but I’m not happy with it yet. I had to put in about 200 words about how the scene is ‘necessary but non-consensual’ which kinda blows (or not!) since scenes need consent if they’re to resonate with me writing, at all. So it’s like “We’ve talked about this – I hate it when you want me (and need me) to top you but I’m s’posed to read your mind – and topping when you’re angry at your partner is a bad bad bad idea” followed by “Do what ya gotta, man, just hit me really hard.” Oh, and there are minor children in the house while this sh*t’s going down, just to make it even more like real life, and our heroes must deal with the domestic consequences of Daddies fighting. I LOVE A CHALLENGE. After all, continuing to have interesting sex after kids *is* a continuing challenge in real life. People want carefree smut? they can look elsewhere; to me smut always has a cost. Who bears it depends on who’s being responsible, or not.

Not that anybody wants to know, but I’m really not into any of those behaviours in real life. Nagging at volume is sort of where I max out, ask any of my exes.

Continuing to have the poly life discussion with someone. It’s painful. Really painful. I feel like I have my nose up again a particularly interesting window. I can smell bread baking. But no. G*ddamned heteronormative uncommunicative bushwah (on their end, not mine.) But at the same time there’s NO F*CKING POINT to becoming an elder if you don’t understand that real life takes time, opportunities for growth don’t wait, and if you don’t consider who’s going to be impacted by your decisions, your years, your grey hairs and and your learning means squat. I am still 22 in some corner of my persona, for my enthusiasms still have all the joy of my youth; I just can’t write everyone affected by my behaviour out of the script any more. I do from time to time, but not all the time.

Fortunately, since I’m pushing 60 with a broom, I can contemplate my greed like the gorram caged bear that it is. Still here, but not running the show.

Katie is still having a rough time and she and Alex are both sick again.

I am not having a rough time. I feel pretty good, all things considered. I have another two weeks of full time work. If that changes, I’ll deal with it. I actually have a plan to deal with it that I think will make almost everyone happy, at least temporarily.

Rogue One is a fucking fantastic movie. Getting eaten by Disney was the best thing that ever happened to the franchise.

Now to check if my money transfer has come through.

I has another dreffle sad

Miss Margot bit and clawed the living shit out of me last night as I was petting her.

My description of her behaviour made Nancy LF. on Facebook advise me to check into this ailment.  Jeff and I have noted many times that Margot is not neurotypical. We didn’t think much of it, bu she’s shown every symptom to me except one.

I think whatever is wrong with her is not being helped by Buster’s continual bullying/play requests; she’s definitely stressed.

Diagnosis will be expensive, but she’s obviously unhappy, and something’s gotta shift.