Little Gun

Books read/listened to

And we start February.

Kathleen Gilles Seidel, The Same Last Name
This is an early 80s book and, boy, the societal mores don't translate well. Talk about double standard.

Started Charlotte Hines' The Earl's Fancy, but here we have an author who clearly has no clue what the Regency vocabulary means that she so generoulsy flings about. Not sure I'll finish that.

So far, 2010 sucks as far as new to me books are concerned.
Little Gun

Books read

Ended up finishing Pam Rosenthal's 'The Edge of Impropriety' after all. Not bad. Pretty writing which is not something I usually pay much attention to. It also suffered from the fizzies towards the end, which might have been a good thing in a way because it wasn't so overwhelmingly sad any longer.


Sheri Whitefeather, Cherokee Baby

Started but did not finish re-reads of Rachel Lee's first two Conard County books.
Little Gun

Books read/listened to

The pox on social media, it's seriously cutting into my reading time. :)

Finally managed to finish a paper book yesterday.

Victoria Dahl's 'Lead Me On'

I liked it a lot but it fizzed for me 3/4 through. Since pretty much every new book I've read in the last 6 months feels like this, I'm starting to think it's me rather than the books. Enjoyable.

Before that, I listened to Lois McMaster Bujold's 'Winterfair Gifts'. Liked it even less in audio than I did on paper. Roic's POV isn't doing a thing for me.

Just finished the audio of Lois McMaster Bujold's 'Mirror Dance' Thursday. I had the same reaction to it as I did when I first read it. I wanted there to be more about Mark and the next book to be about Mark, not Miles. Mark is so much more interesting at this stage. Instead, I'm currently listening to Miles self-sabotaging and blowing up Naismith when I'm in the car.

Started reading Pam Rosenthal's 'The Edge of Impropriety' today and am 12 chapters in, but I think will abandon it. She's a fabulous writer, so good that I just cannot believe that her very damaged and very sad characters can have a HEA. I had to abandon 'The Slightest Provocation' 30 pages in because the pain was so visceral. As I love angst, I find this most intriguing, because I would have said there couldn't been too much of it. Guess I was wrong.
Little Gun

2010, start as you plan to go on! :)

Happy New Year to all! I wish you happiness and health!

We started the year at a catshow (where else would I be on Jan 1-3? :)

I took Tip and Chi down to FL on Friday for the New Year's show in hopes of Tip making some finals and getting points towards a regional win and Chi so he could get the last 21 points he needed to become a Grand Premier.

Tip did well and beat the other GP in 5 out of 8 rings to be best of breed, but didn't get any finals (and no points) on Saturday which was explained by the fact that 10 of the top 25 cats in the country were present at the show and the judges only get to pick 10 for their finals. On Sunday he did make the 2 specialty finals (where the judges judged only the longhairs) and got an 8th and a 7th. Once I saw who the competition was I was very happy with those results.

Chi made all four Premier finals on Saturday and got exactly 21 points, but because you never quite know I decided not to transfer him and that was a good thing too, because one of the cats present isn't confirmed yet and might not count. He made one more final on Sunday and definitely got enough points to become a GP! I'm so proud of my pink baby because he had a scare as a kitten and it took him a while to find his show feet again, but he had a blast this weekend.

I was tickled pink! Apart from that I had a great time with Anne Douglas and her son who came to visit on Saturday and stayed the whole day. Her 9-yo did very well helping me carry Tip to the rings, groom him and play with him and Chi. Dinner with Anne at the Cheesecake Factory was tasty and we had fun and a great discussion on everything under the sun!

As an aside, the people in Jacksonville obviously are not aware that we are in a recession. It took both Anne and me several turns around assorted parking lots to find parking and the total wait time for a table was close to 90 minutes. Maybe all these folks *do* believe that the world ends in 2012 and don't worry about paying off their credit cards? :)
Little Gun

XM Radio, never AGAIN

So, I've been a customer of XM radio for 4 or 5 years. Not only did they raise the rates without telling me, after they merged with Sirius, the music channels I used to listen to sucked. And then they started having commercials on the music channels.

I went online to cancel my account a couple of months ago, except you *cannot* do that and while they do have 7 day customer service, not during hours when I tried to call. I haven't used my XM radio in the car in at least that long, probably longer, which they can see.

Finally today, I got ahold of somebody and the first thing I'm told is, 'we are 100% commercial free'. Yeah, right. And the commercials I listened to were all in my head. I asked to speak to a supervisor and she started arguing with me, claiming their customer support was 24/7 and when I told her bullshit and read her the hours on the website she gave me a 'warning' for swearing. And when I pointed out that I had listened to these non-existant commercials, she snarkily asked how I could have done that if I hadn't listened in a couple of months.

I understand that it's not nice to have to speak to an angry customer but I wasn't angry until they started to tell me outright lies and accused me of lying (nothing like being told you are hallucinating to keep your customers happy and reasonable)...

Needless to say, I am not a happy camper.

ETA: I just got a 'satisfaction' survey from XM about my recent call. Plenty of lovely little comment boxes, which I filled with cogent suggestions... :)
Little Gun

Rowdy Followup and Show update

I'm happy to report that after a week at the vet, Rowdy's been doing well the last few weeks at home.  The other cats aren't too happy because I have to take their food away when he's out during the day because he can only eat special foods now to avoid developing crystals again. Wish us luck that he doesn't block again!

Milo got 4 purple ribbons in Huntsville, but no finals, that was a bit depressing, but last weekend he made two finals and got 56 of the 67 points remaining (out of 200), so now we are within striking distance of that Grand Champion title.  Tip got 29 of the 75 he needs for his Grand Premier title in his first show as a PR and even Chi got 3 points, so good show competition wise!  Had some disappointing personal encounter, which took the buzz off a bit, but I guess that's just the shakes sometimes.

Otherwise, things are quiet, which is a good thing! :)
Little Gun

Excitement and not in a good way

After spending the day in Chattanooga yesterday, among other things to get a MP3 player/radio installed in my car, we came home late to Rowdy behaving strangely.  After about 15 minutes he started crying and he really screamed when I palpitated his stomach.  Called my vet at home at 9pm.  Can I just say how much  I love her!  If we ever move, she'll have to move with us!

We drove the 25 minutes to the clinic, with Rowdy occasionally moaning rather loudly.  Not a sound to make one feel very hopeful.  I couldn't help but remember that his half-brother died of mega-colon...

We got there and the pronouncement was 'blocked'.  Which is better than mega-colon because it does not require (immediate) surgery.  The good news is that we were able to insert a catheter and drain his bladder, but due to the amount of blood in his urine we don't know yet what kind of crystals he blocked with.

Amy just called and he's doing well this morning, albeit still a bit groggy and draining bloody urine, but she thinks he's going to be okay.  What a relief!

He'll need to be on a special diet for the rest of his life to prevent him from blocking again, which will be difficult to administer considering that I'm currently free feeding his group in the living room.  I'd hate to put him in our walk-in cage, but I might not have a choice.   This was beyond scary and if feeding him by himself and making sure he doesn't get to eat the others' food means he won't get this again, it will be worth it!

I'm so glad he didn't do this while I was gone in July.  If untreated, very bad things might have happened to him.
Little Gun

I'm so proud

Milo, Chi, Tip and I went to Portage, IN, this last weekend for a TICA cat show.  It was Milo's first show as an adult.  Chi and Tip were still competing as kittens.

Once a cat is considered an adult (at 8 months old) the goal is to become a Grand Champion.  CFA (where we usually show) and TICA have different ways of determining how a cat achieves that goal.  In TICA the cat has to earn a predetermined amount of points and make 6 finals under at least 4 different judges.

Milo made 8 finals out of 12 possible and became a one show Grand at the tender age of 8 months and 2 days old! :)  He has enough finals for a TGC (Triple Grand Champion), but he needs more points to achieve Double and then yet more beyond that to actually get the title TGC.  The ultimate goal is Supreme Grand Champion for which the cat has to get a high amount of points, make 10 finals total and get a Best Cat from at least one judge.  A one show grand is none too shabby for a little 8 months old Maine Coon who is 'cute'! :)

Chi didn't do much this weekend (he got 2 3rd BOB, but no finals), but Tip (who didn't do anything at the last TICA show we attended) made BOB in two rings and got a 9th and a 6th in AB and got a 2nd BOB and 3 3rd BOBs into the bargain.

To make life even more fun, I won the 50/50 raffle and the prize was high enough to cover the gas cost going to Portage and back.

All in all, a very successful weekend.  I'm thrilled.  Tip behaved much better than at the last show, so I'm hopeful for the CFA show next weekend in Columbus, OH.  It's Milo's first show as an adult in CFA, but since CFA goes about things differently, he can only get his winner's ribbons to become a Champion and can't start competing for grand points (in CFA a cat needs to get 200 points by defeating 200 other champions) until the week after.

We'll be at cat shows for the next 3 weekends in a row and then I'll be madly packing for my trip to Germany.

Keep your paws crossed for us that Milo can do as well in CFA as he did in TICA last weekend, because once he's granded, he can make babies! :)  Nova is very eager for him to be old enough and I can't wait for the all red babies we will get from this litter!