Category Archives: General

Ashe And Ember Update

Remember the sister kittens we adopted just before Christmas?


Well, we took them in for their third vaccination yesterday, and (SURPRISE), it turns out that Ember (the one on the right) is not a sister, but a brother. The other couple who adopted the other two of the litter discovered that they had one of each, which meant that we did as well, and upon inspection, yup, things are sprouting down there that were less obvious when they were six weeks old.

So we’ve been misgendering him for several weeks; hopefully it won’t give him a life-long complex.

We’ve decided not to rename him; it’s not clear that combustion byproducts of wood have a gender (though they probably do in German), but now we’ve got to get used to saying “him” instead of “her,” and “he” instead of “she.” Fortunately it’s not a long-held habit. We’re looking at him with new eyes now. It’s funny, because he’s the smallest (he was probably the runt), but he’s fearless, and loves to attack his big sister.

Book Collections

Thoughts on Marie Kondo from Lileks.

I have too many books, and I’d never have time in this life (barring breakthroughs in life extension) to read or reread them all. I have a twenty-volume encyclopedia of the Illustrated Science And Invention, which may come in handy after the apocalypse, when all knowledge of technology has been lost, and we have to rebuild civilization, so that definitely stays. But I really need to organize all of my books, and papers. My office is a godawful mess.

Iridium Last

SpaceX had a successful flight of a used booster this morning from Vandenberg, delivering the final birds of the new Iridium constellation. It was socked in in LA, so I couldn’t see it, but it looks like it was beautiful up on the central coast. Michael Baylor got a gorgeous shot, his first from a remote camera.

[Update a while later]

Here’s another one.

Kitten Update

The gray one has figured out how to climb stairs. This could be a problem.

[Afternoon update]

When I say figured out how to climb, I meant that she is willing to come down them now that she knows she can go back up. They’ve spent their entire life with us (i.e., since Saturday) upstairs, because our house is upside down, with the living area upstairs, and the bedrooms (including my office) down. They’ve been living in Patricia’s upstairs office/bath, but now at least the gray one will have the run of the house, including my office. The black one is a little less developed; when she fell halfway down the stairs on Sunday, I had to carry her back up. But it’s only a matter of time until they’re both heading up and down.

[Update a while later]

These kittens are hilarious. I set down two bowls of food for them. One of them starts eating, and the other insists on eating from the same bowl. I pick her up and stick her face in the other one, and then she starts to eat from it.

[Update Friday morning]

Last night, we named them: Ashe and Ember (Ashe is the gray one, and I spell it like Ashe Schow’s name: she approved).


Merry Christmas, Everyone

From our household, which just doubled in size with the new additions to the family.

New Kittens

We’d been catless since Rerun died of abdominal cancer sixteen months ago. We hadn’t replaced her because (in addition to the fact that she was irreplaceable) things have been too crazy, with me traveling so much and the Florida house. But on Saturday, we decided to get ourselves a Christmas present, and provide one for cats that needed a home. They’re sisters, six weeks old, part of a litter of four (the other two were boys, who were adopted as well, by another couple). They’d been found in a homeless encampment in LA; their feral mother was ill with pneumonia and too sick to feed them, so they were raised on a bottle. But they’re very friendly and love to be held, and to fight with each other. I think they’ll grow up to be good cats, and good companions, to us and to each other.

Yesterday, her second day in the house, the dark one on the right fell off the living-room ledge halfway down the stairs (about a sixfour-foot drop to a carpeted step), which literally scared the poop out of her. But we cleaned it up, and she seems to be using the litter box now.

And here (via Instapundit) is a little Christmas gift from Allison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma.

[Mid-afternoon update]

[Evening update]

For those curious, here is the recipe. I’ve long ago lost the box that the gun came in, but still have all the pieces, and keep them in a gallon ziplock, including the original instructions. I’m not sure which of the recipes she used (or I have, in the past) but they all require refrigeration before loading the gun, which is a PITA, especially if making multiple batches for different colors. What I liked about the Stewart recipe is that it can be done at room temperature, and it worked pretty much perfectly. But (as one commenter notes), do not use unsifted flour. It will make it far too dense if you measure it unsifted. Fortunately, I also have an ancient sifter from the same era (which I rarely use, now that I don’t bake much on a keto-ish diet).

The Florida House

We put it on the market a couple weeks ago, and we got an offer of $275K on Saturday (the asking price was $280K). We counteroffered to split the difference, and they accepted it. It’s a young couple who reportedly loved the place. It’s their first house, and we’re told by the realtor that she was crying in joy, so that made us feel good. According to the realtor, everyone who saw it liked it, but apparently many thought it was priced too high. Fortunately, this couple didn’t, at least not much.