Goodbye Mr. Cat

We said goodbye to Simon yesterday. We found out about a month ago that he had a huge tumor in his belly. Being sane people and following the advice of our vet, we chose not to do anything about it. Instead we took the spoil him (even more) and make him comfortable route.

We knew something wasn’t quite right about him starting in August. He was having a hard time moving around and leaping, but he’s 16 years old and had some sort of old injury from his before us time. We thought his age and his old injury had caught up with him so we didn’t think much about it except that we worried and helped him to get up to his favorite high places. He also developed a tremendous case of the hair mats earlier in the year. He was NOT a fan of anyone touching his belly so combing them out was not really an option.

We decided to keep an eye on him and comb him more often to prevent other mats from appearing. Then the inability to leap got worse and he started losing weight. We always knew he wasn’t going to break any old age records. When he came to us, he weighed five pounds and had damaged his kidneys during his time of being on the lam. We went back and forth a few years ago about trying to get him to eat expensive, high-protein, special food. But he was NOT having it. The vet let us off the hook and we all agreed we knew the risks. Simon knew he hated that food.

It never occurred to us that something other than kidney failure would take him out. Let me tell you, making the decision to put a pet down never gets easier. Even when you know it is the only option.

Simon just wanted to hang out with the better-half. Lucy wanted Simon to play:

Simon went through a significant period of trying to either steal my chair or share it with me:

Now for his glamour shot:

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Dull Roar

Thursday night we went to see the Drive By Truckers at a local venue. Sometimes you just need rock and roll:

Tonight there’s a super moon and even with my crappy camera, you can tell how awesome our satellite is:

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Profound sadness

Last night as I went to bed, I asked the better-half how I could start the day with such hope only to end it with such despair. I still don’t know how this country voted for a person who has spewed hate for months on end. He disrespects people who are brown and black. He disrespects people who worship Muhammad. He disrespects women. SWEET JESUS, he disrespects women and yet, YET, 53% of his votes came from women. What the fuck, ladies?

Seriously, WTF. Every single woman has been disrespected by men (and especially by men in his age group). Don’t tell me you haven’t been cat called, don’t tell me you haven’t been called fat, don’t tell me you haven’t been screwed over in salaries, don’t lie to yourself. It is even as simple as walking down the sidewalk and men of a certain age REFUSE to move over. They own the sidewalk. You can step in the street because they do NOT see you as worthy of their attention unless they think they can own you. And, we just elected the king of that behavior. A racist, misogynistic bully. Explain that to your kids. It’s OK to be an asshole because assholes are rewarded. That was the lesson broadcast on November 8, 2016.

I can only hope this is the actual wake up call. We should be ashamed.

Another perspective on the fail and how we can do better.

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Never Did That Before

Depending on how you look at it, we’ve waited either 240 years* or 96 years** to do what I did today.


*American independence – 1776
**19th amendment – 1920

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Last night we sat around the fire pit. A party was going on a few houses down and the youngsters were loud way into the night. An elderly couple lives next door so we were a bit surprised there wasn’t a noise complaint. The noise didn’t bother us as we both woke up and realized it was 1:30 in the morning.


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Boot Fail

No posts in September, slacker.

Over the weekend, we took the Nieces on a hike in the George Washington National forest. The past couple of weeks have been brutal with rain, rain, rain (go the freak away). As it happens, the sky was ominous and then suddenly it wasn’t:

We took a break on the top and this is the “good” boot:

The other boot broke down in a spectacular way as we started down the mountain. The sole started coming off and flapped with every step. We tried tying shoe strings around the sole, but that proved unsuccessful pretty quickly and the better-half lost half of one of his laces in the process (we cut one of his laces in half to help hold the sole to my boot upper).

Then I decided the only way this was going to work (2.8 miles down to the parking lot) was to sacrifice my brand-new socks. When we got to the bottom of what felt like a never-ending trail, I removed the boots. You’ll notice in the video that the end of the boot and the sole are clearly nowhere near in the right position–this made the trip down slow and uncomfortable. But, it was better than a bare foot on rocks.


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Beautiful Portland

Yesterday we took a loooooong walk and ended up at Rising Tide brewery. They had a band and a couple of food trucks. I had originally hoped to go to Allagash brewery, but there are tons of craft breweries in Portland. Rising Tide was quite tasty and the band was talented too.

On the way we got to experience the Portland Wastewater Treatment plant. There’s a part of the Bayside trail that goes right past the aeration tanks. Talk about motivation to walk a little faster.

Late yesterday we took a sunset tour to check out the lighthouses in Casco Bay.

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Humid in Portland

We flew into Portland, ME, and in spite of our expectations, we made it here with all luggage intact. Richmond’s American desk was a cluster yesterday as it is wont to do. Seriously, get yourselves together.

Yesterday was a day of travel and eating. Basically, the basics. Today will be more about exploration. We ate a late lunch of oysters and split a lobster roll at Eventide. Holy cats!

Then we contemplated this view for a bit:

Fore River

We walked to Montjoy Hill and then up the hill. For dinner we ate sandwiches at Front Room and when we walked in, I couldn’t tell if we had walked into hell or I was just that hot from walking up the hill. No A/C, y’all. What in the hell. That is one thing Southeners know and that’s how to cool off. A ceiling fan is just a joke when it is 82 and humid. Trust me. Of course, I had sweated like that at 6:30 am when I watered plants so I guess humidity was yesterday’s theme. Here’s hoping today is less humid because we traveled north to get away from that crap.

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Quick trip to Texas

We are eating ZZQ BBQ, drinking Ardent’s Virginia Common and listening to KSYM. We waited over an hour in line for the Q in a thousand degree heat. It was like we were in Texas and it only took us 10 minutes to get home.

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To DC and back again

We took the train to DC to see Billy Joel perform. Taking the train has distinct advantages to the craptastic strip of 95 in the summertime.
Flawed Amtrack deck
Playing cards with a messed up deck. Turns out some decks have more than 52 cards.

We finally had burgers from Shake Shack and declared them tasty. The quality of the ingredients make those burgers a step up from the usual fast food fare.

The view from our room was pretty awful until you looked up.
mayflower hotel outside

As far as the concert was concerned let me start by saying Billy Joel really has it going on. However, last night was not our best concert experience. There was a helluva thunderstorm that made us all (35K+) huddle in the concourse for an hour while the bulk of the storm raged past. The people on the field were soaked. Those of us in nosebleed had an advantage-the roof. Which was good because the rain continued for quite a bit.
stage at billy joel concert

Because of the woes of the metro system, or at least that’s our assumption, the Jumbotron reminded us to get on the train earlier than the show would probably let out and don’t drink too much. Beers were $10 so no worries with that second point.
jumbotron nationals park

By leaving early, we caught all our trains and got back to the hotel for an expensive nightcap. I guess that’s what happens when you lead such a glamorous life.

Still, riding the train home was so much better than sitting on the highway. Last time we were in DC it took us 3 hours to get home. That’s ridiculous and so the train it is. We go back to DC in October and will likely take the train again.
seat back

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