advances in blanket fiber technology
Tuesday, December 10 2013
Marie (aka "the Baby") continues to behave normally despite the grand mal seizure she experienced yesterday. The seizure (and our response to it) seems to have completely reset her preferred territoriality, and ever since she's only wanted to spend time in the laboratory. But I had work to do, and her constantly trying to climb in my lap was a distraction I didn't want to have. (Once in my lap, the other distraction is her twitching the Baby's ear against my wrist as I try to type.) So at some point today I took her down to the living room and sat on the ottoman directly in front of the fire with her on my lap. Once she was comfortable, I gently moved her to the ottoman and left. Back seven years ago when we first got her, the Baby used to occasionally hang out near the woodstove on her own. But she hasn't done that in years, despite several attempts on my part to reintroduce her to it like the one just described. This time, though, she stayed on the ottoman and even returned to it after visiting the cat feeding area. The Baby is nothing if not a creature of habit, but it seems that a half hour of a good experience somewhere is enough for her to want to revisit that experience (for example, in warm weather she also likes to go outside, something she tried even a couple of times this autumn once the weather turned decisively cold). Interestingly, though, the Baby is still going upstairs to use the litter box in the upstairs bathroom. And though she pisses in it, she prefers to shit on the tiled bathroom floor. (Though at least these days her feces are solid little logs, as opposed to the noxious puddles she'd been regularly producing for years.)
This evening Gretchen and I planned to meet up with Jenny and Doug (who own the Farm Sanctuary in Willow) for dinner at Kodomo. We were delayed a bit by the difficulty of chipping through the thick layer of ice on our car's windshield, a process that destroyed one of our ice scrapers. The meal was as delicious as ever, though the conversation was (as always) mostly about the various troubles and hardships of running the sanctuary.
After the meal, Gretchen and I went on something of a shopping spree at Marshalls (on the other side of the King's Mall parking lagoon
1). Recently Gretchen has noted breathtaking advances in blanket fiber technology, and has been bringing home absurdly-soft synthetic blankets she's bought on discount from Marshalls. We were there tonight to buy a couple more (one for the greenhouse upstairs and one for the living room; we already have blankets in the teevee room and bedroom). But of course once you're in a store pushing a cart, you're tempted to just keep on shopping. So of course we bought dog toys and throw pillows as well. As an indication of the irrationality that overtook us, Gretchen nearly tossed a telescope into the shopping cart after I expressed mild interest. (Who knew Marshalls sold cheap Chinese telescopes?)
Back at the house, I continued dealing with a problem on my main computer (Woodchuck) that cropped up the other day. It would suddenly do a memory dump and shut down, or else it would just shut down. On one occasion it did something I'd never heard a computer do before. It crashed and became unresponsive (the screen stayed unchanged but the mouse was frozen), though the sound continued to work at a greatly reduced speed. At the time I was listening to the latest Radiolab "Shorts! Meenerneeenerr" about Ötzi the iceman, and the slowed audio was still intelligible, though it sounded like some alien robot speaking across a time warp.
Over the course of several days, I've found that the problem is most likely to manifest when I have all eight gigabytes of DDR-2 RAM installed. After doing some research, I've learned that my use of memory sticks with two different voltage requirements is a serious no-no, though the crashing still occasionally happens even with just two sticks of matched RAM. [I wouldn't figure this out until the next day, but the solution to this problem was to simply go into the BIOS and raise the voltage levels for all the RAM from 1.8 volts to 1.845 volts. I vaguely seem to remember having done this once before; evidently my recent problems stem from an occasion when I had to clear the CMOS.]
A vast expanse of asphalt for the parking of oversized automobiles in shopping areas not designed to be reachable by pedestrians.
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