Cats: Relative Calm

I’m not seeing any signs of the calico who visited a few nights right at the end of our vacation.  Sneaky has had a more significant presence lately, and she’s telling the boys who’s boss, I think:

My food!Walter and Boomer have both been here.  They’re difficult to tell apart in photos, but in person, they are very easy. Walter is silvery and Boomer is more brown. Walter has less striping on his “bib,” so a straight on face and chest shot is fairly distinctive.

Lady and Rossie still don’t like one another, but, mostly, they stay out of each other’s way. Lady’s medication helps keep things more peaceful in the household, but Daphne has taken to jumping Rossie.  We’re trying Lady and Daphne in the crate at night to ensure Rossie has several hours where she’s free to roam without fear. She’s been putting on a little weight with this approach, so we’re confident she’s able to eat more. Rossie has been a little on the small side, so she could use time to eat.

Ruby spent a brief amount of time on the bed with me while Mr. L was in San Antonio this week. I guess she forgot herself.

Delta is enjoying being home.  After hiding in her carrier for two weeks while boarding, she’s out and about and helping me get dressed in the morning like usual. Natasha has not been far from my side either.  Tarzan spends more time with us, too.  I don’t have definite signs of any of the cats particularly missing Floyd, but they might be.

The shift to the prescription food was seamless. I brought it home, put in their food towers, and they jockeyed for position to eat some.  We’ll continue to use Purina One for the outside cats.

In anticipation of Lady giving them trouble taking her pill, the clinic stocked a compounded formula of her medication to be applied to the inner ear flap. Except, once they moved Lady to the back away from the other cats, she was mellow and charming, taking her medication in a pill pocket (which she won’t do for me). I’m using the compounded formula now, but I’ll probably switch back to the pill.  I like the compounded formula.  It’s easy to apply (with rubber gloves, so I don’t absorb the Prozac into my system), but, not surprisingly, it costs more. Since Lady usually doesn’t give me trouble pilling her, I may return to the cheaper solution.  We’ll see how I feel after a few weeks of this. I may change my mind and go for the process that’s easier with Lady even if it costs more.

In short, everyone seems happy to be home.

Tech Stuff: iPad Air 2 Unboxing

Will the iPad Air 2 arrive in time for this post?  We’ll have to see.

It did!

iPad Air 2 BoxLet’s take a moment to discuss packaging and security. I knew I’d have to sign for this, so I was surprised when my UPS man stuck it in the door, rang the bell, and walked away. I opened the door, called out a quick “Thanks!”, and took the package in the house. I was noting how there was nothing remarkable about it to indicate it came from Apple, when the doorbell rang again. I laughed. My UPS man was back. He said, I didn’t notice this was from Apple, and I need to get a signature. I signed for it and we briefly discussed the packaging. He volunteered it was sad there were people in their company who took advantage and stole products, so this was protection from that.  I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. I knew Apple products were hot commodities sitting on people’s porches after being delivered, but I hadn’t considered how they would be pilfered by the shipping company’s employees. As he said, for the part timers, one of these products represents a couple of week’s work. That’s one reason why I didn’t pre-sign.  I wanted to make sure I didn’t forfeit my recourse if anything happened along the way. My UPS guy is great for covering things up if we’re not here when he delivers. In fact, something arrived while we were on vacation, and him turning the empty trash can over the top of it on the porch kept it dry during a torrential rain. But it’s interesting that Apple has been taking these packaging security measures.

Back to the iPad. Here it is getting Restored (which, I hope will make the setup process so much easier):

iPad Air 2 unboxedI used the encrypted back up on the iPad2, which should mean all my passwords and other fun things that make using the iPad seamless will come down. What that should mean is I can resume using the iPad like it’s the same machine only with the new stuff still there.  We shall see. I’ve not had good luck with this part of Apple’s process on computers, but maybe IOS is different.

iPads side by sideFor physical comparisons, looking at the front from the top, they look very similar — the new iPad is nearly an inch narrower than the iPad2, but the viewing area on the screen is the same size.

rocker switch areaThe big change appears in the area of the camera and volume rockers (iPad2 on the left). There’s an additional microphone on the new iPad. The slider switch is missing (the additional microphone is in that area but much, much smaller), and I’m still trying to find the configuration area for that in setup. It used to be easy to find on the iPad2, but I’m feeling strangely disoriented on this new one. I found it.  The section for the switch that was easily found on the iPad2 is no longer there, because the switch is gone.  The capability is handled in the control panel exclusively now, and that was easily managed. Whew. The switches on the new iPad are silver instead of black. You’ll need to mentally rotate the new iPad 90 degrees to the left for the same orientation. The new microphone is to the left of the two volume control switches, and I’m not sure you can see it at this angle.

I must have selected the wrong restore the first time, because my iPad2 stuff wasn’t there. I selected a restore from back up the second time, and all my apps are coming down, and my email accounts are all set up and operating, so, yes, IOS gets this part right.

I’ve set up TouchID, but so far, I keep having to enter a passcode, so we’ll see how that matures after the apps finish installing and I can untether it from iTunes. Okay. I’ve figured out the TouchID. Instead of swiping to unlock, I need to touch the Home button. Makes sense.

Comparing from the top, it’s hard to see just how different these two machines are. Looking at the bottom helps tremendously.

Side by side backSee how bulbous the iPad2 looks on the right? Don’t get me wrong, they are both incredibly light, but the iPad Air 2 is lighter and smaller.

The transformation is nearly complete:

side by side frontThis is my iPad home screen with the apps I use the most. I haven’t needed the “Catch My Pain” app for a little while now (a good thing), so I may move it to a back screen and replace it with something else I use more often.

Overall, I’m seeing what I expected to see.  I’ll give a usage update on the next Tech Stuff in two weeks.




I’ve taken the plunge and created a Twitter account in my real name. This account will focus on readers and writers and people who are interested in that aspect of me. My @PolarBear60 account is all over the map — reflecting my personal interests and will remain active.

I’ll be doing a little reorganization on my websites over the next few months.  You won’t see much change at first — I’m still planning things.  I’ll likely swap blogs for the two sites, which, if I recall correctly, is a simple process on my host of moving the directories and resetting a few pointers — I’ll research that first, of course.  And do a few back ups.  I’ve done it with Rantings and Ravings before without much difficulty. These are housekeeping moves which shouldn’t impact my readers too much — unless they have bookmarked the sites and visit directly from those bookmarks.

If you’ve subscribed, I don’t believe that will cause any problems, but I’ll have to check. The idea, of course, is to have these changes be seamless to you; however, you’ll recall the adage about “best laid plans” and “going astray.” I was speaking with someone else earlier this week who’d commented how lovely and effortless some people made their site changes look, and I reminded the person not to compare their back stage with others’ front stage.  I’ll try to update the journey from time to time to share a little “back stage” work.

Wednesday Wanderings

I’ve been looking to add a regular Wednesday post, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on.  We already talk about cats, the property, tech stuff, and look at photos.  I want to add a periodic feature where I showcase my friends’ books, because I have some author friends, many independent or indie in their approach, who write really good books I’d like to introduce you to. Would that interest you?

I’d like to make Wednesday’s free-form. Do some wandering for subject matter. This week (well, frankly, over the last month or so), I’ve been critically assessing my blogs, and I believe this blog needs to move to my domain. It’s my author blog and site; however, it’s not on the domain I need to use for that purpose.

Also, I’m not sure the name for this blog is appropriate anymore. To refresh your memory, in high school, I had a physics and a trigonometry notebook.  I titles one Rantings of an Insane Physics student and the other Ravings of an Insane Trigonometry Student (or vice versa — I don’t remember after more than 35 years, and that detail isn’t particularly important). When I started the blog, I titled it as a play on those notebooks, because a few friends asked me to “publish” those notebooks, and in my spare time in college, I typed up the contents into a “book,” photocopied them, and gave them to the friends who had asked for them. The tie in made sense at the time, but after eleven and a half years, I’m wondering if I should consider a new name for the blog. Or not.  What do you think?

You get a chance to participate.  Please answer the poll. If you have suggestions for a new title, please make a comment. (If you’re a first time commenter, I’ll have to approve your comment, but that shouldn’t take long — don’t let that stop you.)

Should I rename the blog?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


RIP: Pretty Boy Floyd, July 2012 – October 20, 2014

It was best for our boy. Dr. Valeri did everything she could do for him, but she couldn’t solve his problem of not being able to urinate. She called me this morning, I talked it over with Mr. L, and I went out to the clinic to say good-bye.  Floyd wasn’t feeling great, but he walked to the front of his cage to see me, and I picked him up, held him, and cuddled him as long as he was willing to be held, purring the whole time. He began to get restless.  Dr. Valeri and Mary were ready.  We helped our big, brave kitty with a strong heart to the other side. He won’t be in pain any more.

Here are some photos to help remember our sweet boy:

Floyd was always a charmer, even if he didn’t know he was doing it:

Pretty Boy FloydLook at that expression. He had the most beautiful, gentle expressive eyes:

Pretty Boy Floyd

Pretty Boy Floyd and his three sisters (Delta, Ruby, and Rossie):

Class PhotoAs the youngest male, he was always striving to get respect:

Floyd and TarzanBut they would cuddle, too:

Tarzan and Floyd GroomingDid I mention he was fascinated with musical instruments?

Cat on a tubaHe and Daphne got along well:

Floyd and DaphneAlways ready to play:

2014-02-06 22.09.35Thank you for brightening our lives for two short years. We’ll miss you, Floyd.

Photo: Which Kitty?

I moved the game camera to a new position to see if I could capture if anyone is using the doghouse as a shelter. But it results in views like this at the feeder:

Cat TailWho is this? Is it Sneaky? Boomer? Walter? Clearly not Sneaky. But is that a silvery or a brown/tan undercoat? Walter is silvery, and Boomer is brown/tan.

I walk back in the photos to catch the cat approaching the feeder, and this is what we see:

BoomerIt looks like Boomer. He appears to have a brown or tan undercoat, and he appears to be an unaltered male (although, when Dr. Val does a neuter, she seems to leave them some vanity, ahem — I haven’t gotten close enough to Walter since his operation to tell how much bragging rights she left him).

Now, this kitty certainly appears to be Walter — a silvery undercoat and slightly different leg striping from the kitty above (I tried to get an image with a similar positioning).

WalterCan you tell the difference?  What clues you in?