Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

The cat’s meow

January 14, 2022

Up in the air, junior birdperson. …

This is why I wish I had a better camera.

“Whatchoo lookin’ at?”

I was out for a ride yesterday and noticed a hang glider freshly launched from the Sandia Crest. If you squint you can just barely make him/her out in the upper right-hand corner there. The original iPhone SE camera doesn’t exactly bring ’em back alive. Not from that altitude, anyway.

It was a good day to be above it all. Cyberattacks shut down the Albuquerque schools and FUBARed various Bernalillo County operations; the county clerk is not amused. My fellow Burqueños are back to croaking each other in bulk after setting a record last year that will be hard to top. And I forgot to invoice The Greater Outside+ Vertically Integrated Globe-Spanning Title-Killing Silo O’ Sports & Fitness, LLC, for my final cartoon of 2021.

The good news is, today is a fine day to be a cat in a sunny spot. But then when is it not?

 

The old cat meows

December 19, 2021

“Someone flip me over, I’m done on this side.”

Sometimes I feel like an old cat. All I want is a sunny spot and the time to stretch out in it.

But eventually I must arise, if only to hit the litter box, grab a bite to eat, and sharpen the claws on the ol’ blogaroo.

Then comes the popping, snapping, and buzzing as levers and switches are thrown and pressed. Bent tabs lurch into ragged slots; parched bearings thirst for lubrication. Gonna have to use the kick-starter on this sumbitch today, boys. Pass the ether and that big fuckin’ hammer. No, not that one, the big one. Now stand back. Gimme room!

Which is the scenic route toward saying that the WordPress elves have been monkeying around under the hood again, making “enhancements” that I did not request and revising or disabling tools that I actually use.

And after extended consultation with support it appears that I may be compelled to arise from my sunny spot, stretch myself, and read the updated owner’s manual, even perform some hideous experiments on secondary and tertiary WP blogs long forgotten by the world at large. Don’t tell the killjoys at The Hague.

There seems to be a concerted push on to shift all WordPress users to Gutenberg, the block editor (cursed be its name, yes). The few times I have examined it, like a remnant of squashed turd upon one shoe, I have been dismayed, even appalled. I am a simple fellow, and there is nothing simpler than the original WordPress editor. It is the 22R engine, solid front axle, manual locking hubs, and five-speed stick shift of bloggery.

But time passes and things change, not always for the better (may I refer you to the modern Toyota truck, which has become nearly as preposterous as its American counterparts?).

So, if you notice anything off kilter around here in the coming weeks — which is to say, more off kilter than is usual for this joint— please remember, it’s (a) not my fault, and (2) free of charge.

iPhoning it in

December 15, 2021

We’ve had some pretty stunning sunrises around here the past couple days, and if there were a photographer in the house s/he might have made something of them. Alas, you have to settle for some old fool and his iPhone.

 

On the edge of the desert

November 20, 2021

Cup No. 3.

It’s not often that I go for that third cup of coffee. But dammit, when it’s 30°-something as a fella struggles out from under the covers, he just might need a triple hit of Arabica. Ether for the carburetor, don’t you know.

I’m better now. Of course, it’s warmer now. Both inside and out.

“Haven’t you ever heard that no news is good news?”

We start our mornings with a 50-50 blend of French Roast and Black Lightning from Aroma Coffee in Santa Fe. It’ll set your gherkin to perkin’, especially after Cup No. 3.  Bzzt bzzt bzzt.

Still, it’s pretty lightweight as drug habits go. There was a time when mornings required something with a little more authority — some coffee, a couple of red beers, and a bump or two or three — but the nights were longer back then. We didn’t hit the sack at 9 p.m. Sometimes we didn’t hit it at all.

Now we have mornings where burrowing back under the covers seems the only sensible course of action. Coffee will not repel the daily assault on your senses by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and your hometown rumor mill. It’s like sending a hamster to croak a Kodiak bear.

Still, as you know, you read the news with the drugs you have, not the drugs you might want or wish you had at a later time. If those don’t work, try the covers.

Rise and shine

November 7, 2021

Time for coffee.

Fall back. As in, fall back into bed for another hour.

Or, you can just not get up. Which is what I did.

Herself arose as per usual. Miss Mia Sopaipilla doesn’t know from time changes, and she will parade up and down the hall giving out with “Reveille” until someone — almost always Herself — gets up, marches into the kitchen, and pours some chow into her bowl.

I’m not a morning person, no matter what time it is. I like this bed. I paid for half of it, and I’m gonna get my money’s worth, thank you very much.

As long as someone feeds the cat. Jesus. Sounds like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Louie Gohmert doing the nasty out there.

Going to the mattresses

October 30, 2021

“Is there a pea under this mattress? I haven’t slept a wink.”

Miss Mia Sopaipilla knows what to do with a brisk fall morning — make a blankie burrito out of herself at the foot of our bed.

Ordinarily she’s not a bed kitty, though if we leave the door ajar at night she will jump on our heads at stupid-thirty to see if we’re interested in playing with and/or feeding her.

But come fall, once everyone’s up and doing their little bits of business, she’ll burrow under the covers and assume her nom du sommeil of Lumpy the Bedbug.

MacArthur, parked

September 28, 2021

Pitter-patter on the patio.

Huh? Whuh? Rain?

Sheeeeeyit, it must be autumn for reals.

Please don’t wake me, no, don’t shake me, leave me where I am, I’m only sleeping.

The weather widget says 64° at 2 in the peeyem, which is quite a departure from the usual around these parts at that time of day.

It makes for fine napping weather if you have the time for that sort of thing, which Miss Sopaipilla does.

What the hell? She wasn’t expecting a congratulatory phone call from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and neither was I.

Shit. I should’ve taken a nap too. No wonder I keep missing out on the genius grants.

 

Mission accomplished

August 31, 2021

The backyard maple is shedding leaves, and it’s not even Labor Day yet.

’Twas a glorious day to ride the bike in ’Burque.

Nobody told me I had waited too long, or left too soon, or was just plain doing it wrong. That I had left my wife and cat behind raised nary an eyebrow among the chattering classes.

This may be because El Rancho Pendejo remained firmly under the control of said wife and cat; their autocratic ways are not exactly breaking news. Herself has been in the driver’s seat since 1990, and Miss Mia Sopaipilla has been a key member of the ruling class for nearly half that time.

In my absence they do exactly as they please, which is pretty much what they do when I’m around, the United Nations and Geneva Conventions be damned.

The only uproar arose when I returned after 90 minutes of pooting around in the foothills on the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff.

“What’s to eat around here?” they yowled. The knives were out, along with the forks. Can a call for comment from The New York Times be far behind?

Don’t blame the dogs (or the cats)

June 19, 2021

The weather widget hits that C-note again.

Summer doesn’t officially arrive until tomorrow, but I’m already pretty much over it.

This sweaty conga line of triple-digit temps is starting to remind me of summers on Randolph AFB outside San Antonio. Your options were the swimming pool or some indoor sport, like Monopoly under the Fedders window unit. Venture outdoors for the usual boyish hijinks and you risked sinking into the asphalt like a Pleistocene mammoth stumbling into the La Brea tar pits.

Eventually we’d flee by car to Sioux City, Iowa, to visit my maternal grandmother. This was not an upgrade.

Our neighbors have been scurrying off to the high country on weekends to camp or VRBO it for a couple days, take five from the heat.

We’ve been sticking it out for a variety of perfectly unsatisfactory reasons. For instance, rather than join me in blissful sloth and torpor, Herself persists in gainful employment. Extra-credit tasks are assigned regularly by Herself the Elder, lest the devil find work for her daughter’s rarely idle hands. And finally, Miss Mia Sopaipilla is not an agreeable travel companion. The sounds she emits in a moving vehicle make a Marjorie Taylor Greene screed sound like the “Ave Maria.”

But we can’t blame this on the cat. Even the dogs are out of bounds, according to Ken Layne over at Desert Oracle Radio.

“Take the dog out at 8 o’clock and it’s still 100 degrees. The dog’s looking at me like, ‘What did you do?’ And I say, ‘Look, I did not do it.’ But of course I did; my species, anyway. The dogs just went along for the ride. It would be nice to blame them. ‘You’re the one who always wanted to get in the car and stick your head out the window when the A/C was on.’ But it’s not their fault.”

Spring broke

March 28, 2021

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, you had a birthday. Big whup.
There better be a grand-do and foofaraw when my birthday
rolls around in August, is what.”

Miss Mia Sopaipilla wants to know if all this birthday bushwa is over and done with.

The only birthday that counts as far as she is concerned is her own, which falls sometime in August. Miss Mia joined us in late October 2007, almost immediately after the passing of Chairman Meow, and Herself recollects that she was 10 to 12 weeks old at the time.

Miss Mia, not Herself. Herself is younger than me, but not that much younger.

Meanwhile, now that spring break is over — sorry, kids! — it seems we’re in for some tasty weather, with highs in the 60s and 70s over the next 10 days. Thus cycling of the outdoor variety is strongly indicated. I may even collect a few long-overdue tan lines. We’ve been short on shorts weather in the high desert so far this year.

All in all, it seems a fine time to be childless, with education completely out of sight in the old rear-view mirror. Albuquerque Public Schools will reopen on April 5, for a full five days per week, but students have the option of continuing with remote learning until the school year ends on May 25.

This must be a fun choice for the parents. If you choose school learning, you’ll probably have to transport the kiddos to and fro yourself, because APS expects to be short of bus drivers. If you choose remote learning, you get to continue being an unpaid teacher’s assistant.

Unless your boss calls you back to work. And what if you’re not one of the lucky people who can work from home? How does a teacher handle a class that’s have actual, half virtual? Many questions, few answers.

It’s going to be educational, in more ways than one.