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My boss, the one who ate the Jolokia (aka Hot Pants) sent a few of us at work this video and asked us if we could somehow incorporate it into our instruments.

I am all for the effort.

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Oh thank God, they invented glow in the dark kittens. I was worried.

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( Thanks, Cracked.com … http://www.cracked.com/article_20829_5-amazing-magical-powers-created-by-simple-science_p2.html )

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h/t to Cruel Wife for finding a Steampunk Melody.

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Note: I would never arm my kitten in real life.

Note #2: I have no recollection of where she found this.

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h/t to Inscrutable Half-Breed for his find on carving a solid block of wood into a box of money.

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Read all about this insanity here.

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h/t to The Dude for one of the coldest blackest comics I have seen this week.

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Where did we leave off in the last installment?

We had just left the warm comforting bosom of our hotel in Madison, Wisconsin, I believe.

It was a morning full of promise.  The sun was out and it was a lapis sky (which only exists in the mind’s eye and on Kodak prints), the birds were chirping gaily (or so it was reported to me by Cruel Wife since I couldn’t and cannot hear a bird unaided if my life were to depend upon it), and in the distance, masked by the scent of trepidation from our near-prescient kitty, was the future-stench of bowels as-yet unloosed.

Stretching out before us was a crossroads of sorts.  Had we smelt our kitty more closely we might have turned south and kept going, stopping only when we hit the Gulf of Mexico.  Or, we might have turned north and fled to Canada, home of watery Canadian Bacon Beer, which should be called “ham beer”.  Had we fled to Canada the odds are quite high that we’d have turned around and come back for lack of interesting things to do there, but we might have gone the scenic route before fleeing towards the southern border.

But we did not smell our kitty more closely, and this changed our lives.

New Rule #8:  Always, always, always smell your kitty before embarking on a journey.

Because we did not smell our kitty and thus missed the prescient miasma about his furry personage, we chose the eastern, i.e. towards Michigan, road.

I would love to tell you the following:  That the Goose Lake State Wildlife area was beautiful, that Rock Lake was pristine and unsullied, that parts of Waukesha were quaint and that I had found a great hot dog joint there.  But I can’t tell you any of that because I’ve never been to those places.  I told a little white fib for theatrics earlier, because we did turn south at the crossroads in Madison but we only went as far as we needed to go in order to follow I-90 into Chicago.

What is sad about the route that we took is that I remember absolutely nothing about it beyond the intense fear we experienced.

They say that it is not uncommon to lose the memory of events leading up to an accident or a traumatic event.  It is here that things get a bit hazy beyond a 100 foot radius (the distance in which you just barely have time to say “OhJesusMaryMotherofGodIdon’twanttodielikethisandpleasekeepfromscreamingandshutthecatup” if you say it really really fast like I did, fifty or sixty times)

New Rule #9:  Drug the cat before entering Chicago unless it is in a crate in the back of the truck.

New Rule #10:  Drug the wife before entering Chicago unless she is in a crate in the back of the truck. Drugging the wife and putting her in a crate in the back of the truck is not an option that should be left unexplored.

New Rule #11:  Double up on Drixoral™ before entering Chicago so the Shadow People that you hallucinate can read maps and navigate for you.

We came southward on I-90/94 with the intent of driving through Chicago in a straight-shot.  I didn’t see a single piece of Chicago since we were coming through it at A Very Bad Time.  By “A Very Bad Time” I mean during a busy period combined with lots of road work.  It was a reasonably hot day and we were doing a lot of necessary but tedious stop-and-go but then the highway opened up for us.  The cat was restless, we were restless, and also restless were many many other cranky drivers.  It wasn’t very long before I found myself behind a semi – and we were all driving very fast at this point.

The cat started to get fluffy.  I glanced down just long enough to see his eyes and pupils were the size of dinner plates at the Hungry Heifer.  Cruel Wife was making a strange noise that fell between strangling and keening.

I embraced (frantically clutched at) my inner child, got in tune with my feminine side, and got way more in tune with my surroundings.  I was at maximal situational awareness because we were now in “heightened circumstances” that were quite beyond our control, viz, we were now boxed in by four enormous trucks and traveling well beyond the speed limit while going around a fairly noteworthy curve.  Silver d’Cat was trying to be helpful, pointing out things that I could do as safety measures but all that was really getting through to me was something that sounded like “Mrrreooowww, hisss, mreeeow, fttttt, hisss, mrrrreowwwrr” but I can’t really be sure.  He repeated himself several times and got louder each time but I couldn’t really hear him over Cruel Wife speaking to me in tongues.  It seemed that she was speaking not only in several voices at once but also in at least two additional languages (most alarmingly, they seemed to be dead languages).  It was exceedingly difficult to please her in this instance (more so than usual) because all of her hand instructions were contradictory – slow down, speed up, turn on your blinker, don’t move, stop, use your vertical thrusters (huh?), build a campfire, lay a new course of tiles, and (my favorite) invent something *quick*.

Ever smelled the combination of cat fear, sour gym sock sweat, diesel exhaust, and particulates from truly leviathan† truck tires that are near immolation?  It is nauseating.  It’s worse than the combined scent of wildflowers and shame. If you were to roll all those scents and materials into little balls it would make a hell of an herbicide.

A quick note here.  I am referring to “Leviathan” in the sense used by Hobbes, not a sea creature but the concept of something so much bigger than one’s self, a construct of great enormity.  Otherwise in the context of a truck-as-sea-monster it just sounds silly unless it is a truck full of fish-sticks or octupi, not that those two things aren’t rather silly in their own right.

Smells are just not something you need to add to your sensory overload at a time like this.

New Rule #12:  Utilize something like Mentholatum™ as a prophylactic when entering into a situation that is going to involve Odors of Amply Sufficient Vileness.

Let us step outside of events briefly, shall we, Constant Reader?

If we were to freeze the moment, we could walk up and survey the scene in a relaxed and objective fashion, so we’ll do just that.   We might learn something, and we might learn nothing – life is sometimes like that but at least we will be able to say that we made the attempt.  What would we see?  Would it touch us on some deeper level?  Would we be amused?  Disgusted?  Fearful?  Let us see…

We would see a cramped truck cab with two fearful young adults, one male (sweaty, driving), one female (clawed, shrieking), one feline (felis domesticus, yowling), and no fewer than twelve Shadow People that only existed in the mind of the young man behind the wheel of the vehicle because of his cold medicine.  We could stand with our backs to the doors of the truck and reach out and touch the dusty trailers of the semi-trucks to either side.  Four or five healthy strides forwards or backwards would bring us to the trailer doors or grille of the trucks fore and aft.  Sad, endearing, and perfectly understandable would be the small fluffy cat with large panicky eyes as he is frozen in the act of burying his head under the young woman’s arm.  A violent localized squall may be seen through the bug-spattered windshield as a mass of papers and junk food wrappers swirling around the cab and out the half-open windows.  Neither the young man or woman looks happy and the small fluffy cat is clearly beyond help at this moment in time, having taken leave of his senses.  The young man is chewing on his lip hard enough to bleed and he has a large set of veins throbbing at his temples and forehead.

And suddenly it was over.  The roaring of the trucks receded in this distance.  The sound of a mortally terrified Silver d’Cat died off slowly.  The sounds of Cruel Wife choking on self-contradictory instructions ceased.  All that remained was the panting of three exhausted souls.

Note: If you were thinking that the loosed-bowel remark at the beginning of this story was a literal placeholder for events to come I am pleased to disappoint you – no bowels were voided on that day except in a completely voluntary fashion.

What did we learn?

New Rule #13:  Never drive a small truck through Chicago with a cat of any breed.

And then the details of the journey got fuzzy again.   We were all dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder in varying degrees and would be for some months to come (cat psychologists are rare and almost prohibitively expensive, by the way).   The next thing I personally recall was passing Kalamazoo.  It was then that I either started humming Hoyt Axton’s Cat from Kalamazoo or I started running it through my head over and over.

It was Della and the Dealer and a dog named Jake
And a cat named Kalamazoo
Left the city in a pick-up truck
Gonna make some dreams come true

Of course then our story deviates wildly from Axton’s song because we were heading east, neither Cruel Wife nor I have ever had or ever will have a dog named Jake, Silver d’Cat wasn’t from Kalamazoo, our cat didn’t stay cool, and I’m not evil, just a sociopath.  But the tune was catchy and stuck with me.

Two hours later I got out of the truck, kissed the ground with emotion, even to the point of slipping it the tongue (and got a phone number from it – don’t tell Cruel Wife).   We threw the cat in the apartment, and we took off in search of some cheap comfort food.

Thus concludes the three-part story Driving to Michigan with a Drugged Cat in the Truck.

The fate of the Dramatis Personae: Silver d’Cat lived another twelve years, Cruel Wife has not killed me in my sleep yet in spite of the fact that I snore like an asthmatic donkey (her words), and we continue to live in Michigan.

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I am going to live.  As my old man said, “You get to where you think you’re gonna die, then you pray that you will…”  And he was right, as far as that went.

But now I’ve decided I don’t want die just yet and that sentiment firms up more and more as the nasty old flu recedes in the rear-view mirror.  So while I didn’t get what I really wanted for Christmas (health) I got it later, so it all worked out.   The worst of the coughing is over and not a moment too soon since it cracked my neck every single cough.

Now I am just going in fits and spurts of being wiped out and then getting energy back off-on throughout the day.

See the energetic furry creature below?  She got spayed today and the poor dear is pretty uncomfortable.  Yes, even the Furry Little Black Dress of Evil can suffer.

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We gave Lemurita an MP3 player for Christmas and she asked me to load it up with some of my music after she went to bed.  I have a huge collection of digital music but not all of it is exactly acceptable for a 10 year old.  Butthole Surfers, Circle Jerks, Henry Rollins, Metallica, the Doors… nah.  I did give her AC/DC Hell’s Bells (she loves that one), some Rod Stewart, Don Henley, bagpipes, etc.  Not sure about The Who, Shawn Mullins, Tom Petty, etc.

By the way – if you have not seen the movie Limitless, I would HIGHLY recommend it.  I said to Cruel Wife, “Ok, I have to admit that if I was in his shoes I don’t think I could have done anything differently – it would be that seductive, especially to my brain.”  It is NOT an anti-drug movie.  It’s not a pro-drug movie.  It’s a movie with a drug that the movie centers on but what a fun ride the movie is.

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Quotables and Kittens.

I would do a longer post if I were not in the throes of a wicked migraine.  Not the worst by far but it takes creativity and leaves it hollow – a papery husk left over after the soul of a living creature has been sucked out by greedy parasitic vampires.

I was doing a keyword search through my e:mail and ran across this one.  See if you can guess where it came from.

Surrounded by dickwads, we pressed onward, through the fog of idjitry.

And no, it is not from “The Charge of the Light Brigade”.

Here is a picture of Jack Katt not mentoring Melody the kitten but rather wondering if he could eat her in one bite or two.  The fact that he isn’t actually trying to do so is a testament to the power of the Kitty Pheromonizer-ator™, the plug-in air-freshener thingy loaded with Happy Kitty Squeezin’s.

And never let it be said, wiccapundit, that I am not willing to throw up a picture for you to enjoy.  I’m sorry it is blurry but the kit won’t sit still long enough to snap a decent pic.  The profile is classic.

 

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Deliver me…

Day 15 now since Operation Invading In-Laws began.  Maintaining an uneasy truce with spousal in-law units.  Ready to have home back.  About five days ago I was ready for that.  Well, actually five days before that.

But they are helping with things I just cannot do (and at times don’t know how to do) on remodeling the home, so I’m remaining silent, mostly.

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Source of Cat Quadcopter Picture – Reuters.

Stuff your dead cat with a quadcopter.

Creepy as hell.  Thanks to alert co-worker Butcher of Lansing.

Thoughts in the order they arrived:

  • WHY would you DO that?
  • What kind of flight time per-charging do you get?
  • Do you charge it in a litter-box shaped receptacle?
  • Self cleaning?
  • Does it charge 23 hours of the day and work only 1 hour per day?
  • Mouse-powered fuel cells would be ultra-cool.
  • WHY would you DO that?

 

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Meet Jack.  Jack was curious, probably because he’s a cat.  Here, he was observing me as I was giggling and wrapping the handle of my tactical tomahawk with friction tape.

No, that’s not a euphemism for something sordid and nasty.

He’s such a calm cat that he sat there patiently as I scrambled for my camera.  He said –

Don’t worry, I’ll sit here while you get set up.  No trouble.  But was wondering, and you don’t have to answer the question if you don’t want to, but… what exactly is wrong with you?  Is there a name for it?  Perhaps a support group you could get in with?  Would some exercise help?  No, I know you are bored, and I know that you’re a stone’s throw away from stepping over the border from Reality into the Land of the Cuckoos, and I know that you are itching to get rid of your Precious-es, but have you thought about trying…  something different?  Talk to me.  I’m sure it will help.

He’s a smart cat.  Too smart.  He has tipped his paw and I now see him for what he is.  He is not a pretty cuddly house-feline who cares for me.  He is actually wanted to push me over the edge so the house is his.  Oh, I know these things… I KNOW.  He just wants me to start talking to him so someone will see me talking to him and they’ll judge me because of that when they don’t even realize that he can talk and that he’s not the innocent thing he appears to be.   Believe me.  I know.

Jack gets much bigger when you click on him.

Enough about the damn cat already.

As you’ve probably guessed I am nuts about helicopters.  Wanted to be a pilot when I was growing up but I had to face the fact that a substantial hearing loss closes doors when it comes to becoming a pilot.  Oh well.  I’ll get my kicks some other way.

Santa brought me a stocking stuffer for Christmas morning (bless her heart).  It’s laser-cut shimstock and you pop the pieces out and insert/bend tabs to put it together.  I’m experiencing a flare-up of my decision-making disorder, trying to decide which to build first – this helicopter or the dual trebuchet kit.   Oh the humanity.

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Mathy type things.

Well, not having ever taken the time to compute ƒ(meow) I couldn’t tell you how close the approximation in the graphic really is, but it’s plausible.  (Damn WordPress doesn’t have a decent Fourier transform operator symbol…)

Believe me when I say that the Fourier transform of my morbidly obese cat Jilly is the kindest and thinnest way I think we’ll ever witness her.

Below is the continuous Fourier transform in the general Euler form rather than the cosine/sine variation for even/odd functions that are initially easier to look at when trying to make sense of the whole thing.  If you took the transform of Jilly in the very most flattering light (basically a roundish DC signal) you’ll get a delta at zero frequency – razor thin.  She’s actually more of a long-ish single rectangular pulse so her transform will be sort of a central peak – but kind of spread out and lumpy, so I guess you could say she’s already been transformed.

Note: Euler knew what he was doing even if that e to the imaginary phase thing looks weird as all get out.

Note #2:  But by gum it works and it holds water after all this time.  Euler is one of my heroes, right behind Feynman.  Ask Cruel Wife, she’ll tell you.  Granddad was #1.

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Littering News Around

Nope.  This post has nothing at all to do with litter.

Just sprinkling facts pertaining to recent days.

Got an MRI on Thursday to see what the $&^%^# is going on with my #*@^%)_# neck.  What was very interesting was that a 1.5Tesla b-field warms your neck like a drumstick in a microwave.  I’m the Bones McCoy type – transporters would make me wiggy and while I know the MRI is a safe machine something that makes me feel warmer when it’s making LOUD noise and I’m crammed in it with no wiggle room – well, it makes me wiggy.

Saw Cars 2 today.  It was savaged by RottenTomatoes but honestly I enjoyed it and I feel like people need to freakin’ relax.  They are slamming it as if it were a bomb performance by people who are normally academy award winning caliber.  Cripes, people, it’s a Pixar movie.  No, it is not their best, I get that.  But seeing a General Dynamics LCS go kablooey kind of made me grin.  And the modeling of the ocean waves was some of the best I have ever seen.  My jaw was hanging down and I was drooling, I was so taken in by the excellence of the rendering.  A bit long but fun.  Kids liked it.

Oh yeah… I’m designing a steampunk gun – a real live take-the-fur-off’n-that-yowling-at-3AM-cat from 30-50 feet with water kind of steampunk gun.  If there’s interest I’ll build more (think “Zazzle” but without t-shirts).  I’m working on the design with cost in mind.   Someone also suggested that it could also be sold as kits, which is an idea that intrigues me as well.  The kit option would allow someone who wants to do the analogue of “overclocking” and turn up the PSI to above the 40psi I’m thinking of.   The pressure vessels themselves are rated for 100-120psi.

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Cat-ass-trophe? Perhaps not.

Please note, due to the HUGE number of spams your comments may or may not get caught at times.  It’s been awful lately.  It’s not personal, trust me…

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I took my cat, Jack-Jack, to the vet yesterday.  He’d been vomiting for 24 hours plus change.  Started out horking up food then progressing to frothy stuff.

So they took some blood.  Then they took an x-ray.  Then they injected this ****load of electrolyte solution into the loose-skin area between his shoulderblades and neck to the point that he looked like the Hunchcat of Notre-Dame.  But it did give him some pep.

I haven’t seen any more barf and he’s actually eating something.

The part that isn’t so cheery is that they saw a thickening of the intestine which they attributed to inflammation. “Inflammation” seems to be what they say when they don’t really know for sure, suspect something not-good, and don’t want to wig the pet owner out.

I’ve been trying to reach the vet all day and for multiple hours he was operating on a pet – a tail-tuck or teat-enhancement or something.   Perhaps nose surgery on a Himalayan.

Soooooo, it’s either a result of eating plastic bags (he’s a real connoisseur) or something Distressingly More Serious.

I’m not worried about Jack though.  He’s just a cat after all and I have absolutely no attachment whatsoever to him or his sister.  At all.  None.  Nope.  Cats are cheap – they’ll be putting them in cereal boxes next.  Why would I care about a furball?

Update:  Jack-Jack had a good blood test – a bit dehydrated but you get that when you can’t keep anything down.  Kidneys, liver, tail, all seem good.  A bit of gas but unlocalized when the doc checked him last night so blockage doesn’t seem likely.  They said to give him some canned food, maybe with a little canned pumpkin mixed in for fiber and he’d be good.  Gastroenteritis (aka tummy irritation but it sounds all official-ey, don’t it?) without a source.  Unless it returns, give him a swat on the butt and let him mingle.

Total cost?  $200 to find out he had an upset tummy.

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Americans are losing faith that the economy will keep improving, according to a monthly survey.

When did we have faith in our economy to begin with, exactly?  Pretty stupid concept that Americans could have economical faith in the past few years (which the author doesn’t believe for a second).  Losing faith?  Oh, my faith was gone years ago because I’m bitterly cynical.

As megablogger Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, has noted with amusement, the word “unexpectedly” or variants thereon keep cropping up in mainstream media stories about the economy.

“New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed,” reported CNBC.com May 25.

“Personal consumption fell,” Business Insider reported the same day, “when it was expected to rise.”

“Durable goods declined 3.6 percent last month,” Reuters reported May 25, “worse than economists’ expectations.”

“Previously owned home sales unexpectedly fall,” headlined Bloomberg News May 19.

“U.S. home construction fell unexpectedly in April,” wrote the Wall Street Journal May 18.

Those examples are all from the last two weeks.

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Those of us “on the ground” so to speak – aka “us little people, financially” – we did not really need a “Economic Surprise Index” to know that something is terribly terribly wrong.  Politicians, the media, and the Wall Street folks that got bailed out don’t seem to have much common sense, as we established above.

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Yes, I’m on a rant about vaccinations again.  It’s a hot-button issue!  Feel free to debate the topic but if you flame me and treat me like dirt I’ll blacklist you from this blog so quickly you’ll barf up your toenails.

Amazingly, there is still debate over the notion that vaccines cause autism even in the aftermath of Scientist O’ FAIL Dr. Andrew Wakefield who faked so very much and is paying the price today even as do the children of misguided but well-meaning parents.

There are two autistic kids in my family – one is my son the other is my sister’s son.

Sister is convinced vaccines do it.  I don’t harbor even the tiniest suspicion that they do.  I think genetics is the single biggest determinant.   Skyrocketing incidence of autism?  Chalk that up to over/mis-diagnosis and previous un-diagnosis of actual cases.

Note:  Oooooh!  There is a new scary thing in town!  “Fever during pregnancy, diabetes and obesity may raise autism risk.”   Well, since the old scary thing was shot down we need a new scary thing to keep interest up and funding fluid.

Here’s a suspicion of mine – that “autism” has become more of a bogeyman for our culture of intolerance of what we perceive as behavioral issues – and that “skyrocketing” rates reflect a desire to blame behavior on a condition rather than address the behavior or possibly harm a child’s wickedly fragile self-esteem.  My daughter has shown some behavioral issues which we’re still working on ferreting out but after I asked her teacher to “cut the bullshit and tell me what you think”, she whispered to me in conspiratorial tones that my daughter falls on the autistic spectrum disorder.  She’s also one of those teachers that feels she knows more than any parent could possibly fathom and only barely conceals it.  Not surprisingly my hackles go up when I’m even near the woman.

Now, let me be perfectly clear: My ego isn’t involved here.  I say without a lick of shame that my son is autistic – it is mild but it is there and it is as real as the day is long.  But my daughter doesn’t exhibit a single one of the classical signs of it.  She has no problem making eye contact or communicating, is a very outwardly loving and compassionate little girl, does not respond atypically to physical stimuli, and isn’t obsessive any more than the wife or I am (let’s not delve too deeply there, ok?).   Behavioral issues?  Gosh, yes – of course there are.  Show me a kid whose parent claims their kid doesn’t have behavioral issues and I’ll show you a parent that screams about “no coat hangers” on a regular basis, and immediately after that I’ll show you a kid with more cracks in their psyche than a Michigan highway.

Anyway, the scare about vaccinations and autism is beyond ridiculous.  It is causing parents to avoid getting vaccines for their kids that puts them at risk for things that are well-established:  Diseases.  The danger in not vaccinating is much higher.

In the case of clear evidence that vaccinations save lives I have little issue with requiring simple prophylactic medicine.

If my child is unvaccinated and all these other children are vaccinated, How does my child pose any threat?’ responded Workman. ‘This is my child and it’s a right I should have.

In part she is right – there’s a grey area in terms of your freedom but then again we also have traffic laws, seat belt laws, and helmet laws… so go argue about it in court.

In 1999, Madison’s older sister developed autism just months after receiving her state-required immunizations for measles, mumps and rubella.

“Right after she received her childhood vaccines…her verbal…her potty training…everything had stopped,” she said.

She didn’t describe anything other than common beyond-a-doubt autism progression.

She’s ignorant of the realities of vaccination.  There are a few things wrong with the popular understanding of “herd immunity”.  Depending upon the communicability of the disease, the number of vaccinated individuals may need to be quite high to keep the disease under control and keep making strides towards actual eradication.   Smallpox eradication happened because they made a push to get darned near everyone innoculated.

It is not unreasonable to ask that easily communicable diseases be prevented from spreading.  When you are sick and still as-yet asymptomatic as is often the case before you are full-blown sick,  you are a contagious walking virus-factory – in some cases highly so.  People who don’t respond to vaccines, are allergic to them, or are immune-compromised would appreciate it if you’d do your part.

Vaccines do not grant you ironclad immunity to diseasethey aren’t silver bullets even though they work most of the time (85% or better).  They give your body the chance to be pro-active with pathogens.  You may still get the disease and have drastically reduced symptoms (generally because something has weakened your immune system).  You may still get the full-blown disease or a variant of it.  You may not even get sick at all.

Then again you have people who love a good conspiracy story…

www-dot-unhinderedliving-dot-com/immunizations.html

Here’s the webpage’s author’s remarks:

Louis Pasteur’s germ theory is flawed.  It is not true that germs make us sick.  Germs change their function depending upon the kind of tissue they live in.  If our tissues are full of toxins, dead and decaying cells, and are in general not well nourished with vitamins and minerals, the germs will feed on this diseased tissue.  If we take good care of ourselves, make sure we have good nutrition, and regularly cleanse our bodies inside and out, especially the intestinal tract, the germs perform a maintenance and restoration function, helping keep our bodies healthy.  Germs cannot hurt you if you keep your immune system in top shape.

Amazing.  “Germs cannot hurt you if you keep your immune system in top shape.”  See the logic that requires not a shred of proof?  If you do get sick then it must follow that your immune system was not kept in top shape.

Most of these diseases, if contracted today, rarely if ever cause death, and are easily dealt with using antibiotics. They are not the threat that they were in the previous centuries, because our standard of living is better.  We know about food spoilage and clean toileting habits, which caused the majority of disease outbreaks in the past.  Personally, I would rather that my children contract measles, mumps, chicken pox, and all the others so that they develop an active immunity.  However, my children have very strong immune systems, and even though they have been exposed to children infected with these diseases, my children have never contracted any infectious disease.   There are ways to build up your immune system so that you are not susceptible to infections.

“Most of the diseases if contracted today rarely if ever cause death” is utter horseshit.  The VAST majority of people have immunizations and have no difficulties whatsoever – the number of complications from a vaccine are outweighed by several orders of magnitude by the dangers of the diseases they help prevent.

DISEASE

Measles
Pneumonia: 6 in 100
Encephalitis: 1 in 1,000
Death: 2 in 1,000

Rubella
Congenital Rubella Syndrome: 1 in 4 (if woman becomes infected early in pregnancy)

VACCINES

MMR
Encephalitis or severe allergic reaction:
1 in 1,000,000

DISEASE

Diphtheria
Death: 1 in 20

Tetanus
Death: 2 in 10

Pertussis
Pneumonia: 1 in 8
Encephalitis: 1 in 20
Death: 1 in 1,500

VACCINES

DTaP
Continuous crying, then full recovery: 1 in 1000
Convulsions or shock, then full recovery: 1 in 14,000
Acute encephalopathy: 0-10.5 in 1,000,000
Death: None proven

source:  http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/6mishome.htm

Viruses, which account for most immunizations, aren’t affected in the least by antibiotics.  I’d like to also add that antibiotics are getting so over-used we ought to be using every other possible resource first.  The “standard of living” argument does have a bit of truth to it and we do know much more about cleanliness habits.  Those habits will not protect you from a virulent contagion, however, and if it were true chickenpox would have been reduced by hygiene and not vaccinations.

I would rather that my children contract measles, mumps, chicken pox, and all the others so that they develop an active immunity.

Vaccines give you an active immunity or they wouldn’t work at all.

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That my testes traveled to my shoulderblades in record time (mere microseconds), beat only by the puckering of my butt so tightly that a singularity was formed.  (Run guys, run with that joke… RUN)

Seriously… I can’t watch it.  I can watch autopsies, watch surgeries, compounded bones, gooshed limbs, ok.  But this, because of my neck sends me screaming out of the room like an 8 year old girl.

Next week I’ll show the video where he gets beat out by the man who can turn his head 181 degrees.

More later if I have the energy.  Hard day.  Check back and I’ll probably have something.

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Note:  Fair warning, I am/was in House mode – I’m trying to get the house ready for the out-laws (in-laws) and damaging myself to do it.  Cruel Wife deserves to be able to show her folks a back room that isn’t a pile of shiat and has all the frames around the windows, doors, and closets put up.  As you can guess, I get… intense, when I hurt badly.

Here we have a woman bitching that when her mother died she was more in touch with her cat more than her.   Had she written to this column It’s All About Me, Dr. Lemur, why my response below would have been quite different.

Q. Dealing With My Mother’s Death: My mother died in February after a long battle with cancer. She and I live in different countries but always tried to see each other a few times a year. I also have a sister who lives about two hours from my parents’ house. My mother knew for some time that the end was near. My sister and I asked time and time again to see her, but we were told by her and my father that she didn’t want to see us and that she wanted us to remember her as she was. While I was upset about this, I wasn’t going to argue or upset her. The day after she died, my father called me to tell me she had died. He mentioned several times that she died peacefully while looking at photos of their cat and that her last words were to the effect that my father should look after the cat. Now, I know my parents love this cat, but I am hurt and upset that she had nothing to say about either my sister or me or any of our children (her grandkids). Fast forward to her obituary, which did not mention any of her grandchildren by name but had several sentences about the cat. This was an obituary that my mother wrote herself about six months before she died. I am struggling now, as I feel angry, and then guilty that I am angry. I feel like actual human family members are more important than feline ones. I want to get past this and have positive memories of my mother, but I am hurt by being cut out of her final moments and her favoritism of a cat, which sounds ridiculous, I know!

A. Dr. Lemur: Cut the lady some slack you little ingrate.  The woman took care of you for eighteen years – fed, cleaned you, tended your boo-boos, listened to your inanest utterances, and sought reasons daily to NOT kill you as a teenager. You moved to a different country and I’d guess that you and your little snowflakes visited when it was convenient.   But by the time was growing near she felt she looked hideous and didn’t want to spoil your memory of her.  Yes, ultimately it is a vanity thing.  She doesn’t love you any less (although she might be tempted by your lack of empathy)  The woman was dying.  Her cats never cared in the least what she looked like – it is easy unconditional love and they were with her all the time, they were her children in the here and now.  What you won’t see until you choose to stop being so self-centered is that your mother was doing what she thought was the kindest thing possible by not letting you see her dying.   As for an obit, it’s hers to write.  If your family all loved her they would know that the obituary is for the acquaintances and describes her life – there’s nothing that says she has to account for each and every offspring.   If you all loved her, remember her for the reasons you loved her and celebrate her life and get off your self-importance merry-go-round.   Life was slowly being taken away from her – her friends, her hobbies, her loves, her health, her mobility, and lastly it took away her sense of self-worth and then her life.  Let her have her cats.  They weren’t taken from her and she was doing the best she could do at the time in that situation.  Go pop your angry balloon, have a beer, get laid, and if you’re still whiny, punch yourself in the face five or six times – hard.  If the problem still persists, you’re just a bitch and there’s really no help for that.

****

Ok, see the x-ray through the side of a semi-truck which shows lots of illegal aliens?  There’s a certain amount of radiation that is required to peer through the truck sides… how many BED’s‡ did those people get?  Is it considered cruel and inhumane to subject these people (who were whisked away from their homes to work here illegally) to high exposures of x-rays?  Should we stop using this awful method of enforcing borders when we should be giving everyone amnesty and instant green cards?

‡  Banana Equivalent Dose.  The amount of radiation exposure you get from eating a banana.  For me, I always read BED and think back to PATEOTS units as proposed by Neal Stephenson, which illustrates some Highly Toxic Substance X that can do Scary Thing Y with a quantity that fits on a “Period At The End Of This Sentence”.

Note:  If you can’t recognize my humane/amnesty/green-card statements as sarcasm, you need to go someplace else.

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Rug F***ers is the perfect name of a carpet cleaning company, in my honest opinion.

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Oh, boo hoo.  If you hate it here so much that you spit on people who aren’t doing anything to you then you need to quit school and find a good university “back home”.

I especially love how she takes the blame away from herself:

Al-Doaifi told officers she was spitting on “white people” because of the way her people are treated and that a “higher authority” made her do it, an officer wrote.

Huh.  I wonder if her “higher authority” is going to pay her fines and court costs.

****

The suspect, whose identity was not disclosed, has a history of mental illness.

Seriously, you think so?  Sheesh, you eat one person’s liver and you’re marked for life.  I mean, talk about being labeled.  It’s not likely that once he killed and dismembered his friend would need that liver anymore.

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Michigan man wins $2M and is still on food stamps.

A man who won $2 million [has admitted] that he still uses food stamps.

Leroy Fick [snip] admitted he still swipes the electronic card at stores, nearly a year after winning a jackpot [snip] that more than half the prize went to taxes.

Fick says the Department of Human Services told him he could continue to use the card, which is paid with tax dollars. He told WNEM: “If you’re going to … try to make me feel bad, you aren’t going to do it.”

This is how you recognize a broken entitlement system.  One that allow people to feel entitled long after there is any need for them to take government money.   He should be fined for every penny retroactively that he used on food stamps since the day he collected his prize plus another 20% just for being an a$$hole.

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Cattitude.

I took my cat, Jack-Jack, to the vet yesterday.  He’d been vomiting for 24 hours plus change.  Started out horking up food then progressing to frothy stuff.

So they took some blood.  Then they took an x-ray.  Then they injected this ****load of electrolyte solution into the loose-skin area between his shoulderblades and neck to the point that he looked like the Hunchcat of Notre-Dame.  But it did give him some pep.

I haven’t seen any more barf and he’s actually eating something.

The part that isn’t so cheery is that they saw a thickening of the intestine which they attributed to inflammation. “Inflammation” is what they say when they don’t really know for sure, suspect something not-good, and don’t want to wig the pet owner out.

I’ve been trying to reach the vet all day and for multiple hours he was operating on a pet – a tail-tuck or teat-enhancement or something.   Perhaps nose surgery on a Himalayan.

Soooooo, it’s either a result of eating plastic bags (he’s a real connoisseur) or something Distressingly More Serious.

I’m not worried about Jack though.  He’s just a cat after all and I have absolutely no attachment whatsoever to him or his sister.  At all.  None.  Nope.  Cats are cheap – they’ll be putting them in cereal boxes next.  Why would I care about a furball?

Update:  Jack-Jack had a good blood test – a bit dehydrated but you get that when you can’t keep anything down.  Kidneys, liver, tail, all seem good.  A bit of gas but unlocalized when the doc checked him last night so blockage doesn’t seem likely.  They said to give him some canned food, maybe with a little canned pumpkin mixed in for fiber and he’d be good.  Gastroenteritis (aka tummy irritation but it sounds all official-ey, don’t it?) without a source.  Unless it returns, give him a swat on the butt and let him mingle.

****

Americans are losing faith that the economy will keep improving, according to a monthly survey.

When did we have faith to begin with, exactly?  Pretty stupid concept that Americans could have faith (which the author doesn’t believe for a second).  Losing faith?  Oh, my faith was gone years ago because I’m bitterly cynical.

As megablogger Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, has noted with amusement, the word “unexpectedly” or variants thereon keep cropping up in mainstream media stories about the economy.

“New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed,” reported CNBC.com May 25.

“Personal consumption fell,” Business Insider reported the same day, “when it was expected to rise.”

“Durable goods declined 3.6 percent last month,” Reuters reported May 25, “worse than economists’ expectations.”

“Previously owned home sales unexpectedly fall,” headlined Bloomberg News May 19.

“U.S. home construction fell unexpectedly in April,” wrote the Wall Street Journal May 18.

Those examples are all from the last two weeks.

****

Those of us “on the ground” so to speak – aka “us little people, financially” – we did not really need a “Economic Surprise Index” to know that something is terribly terribly wrong.  Politicians, the media, and the Wall Street folks that got bailed out don’t seem to have much common sense, as we established above.

****

Yes, I’m on a rant about vaccinations again.  It’s a hot-button issue!  Feel free to debate the topic but if you flame me and treat me like dirt I’ll blacklist you from this blog so quickly you’ll barf up your toenails.

Amazingly, there is still debate over the notion that vaccines cause autism even in the aftermath of Scientist O’ FAIL Dr. Andrew Wakefield who faked so very much and is paying the price today even as do the children of misguided but well-meaning parents.

There are two autistic kids in my family – one is my son the other is my sister’s son.

Sister is convinced vaccines do it.  I don’t harbor even the tiniest suspicion that they do.  I think genetics is the single biggest determinant.   Skyrocketing incidence of autism?  Chalk that up to over/mis-diagnosis and previous un-diagnosis of actual cases.

Note:  Oooooh!  There is a new scary thing in town!  “Fever during pregnancy, diabetes and obesity may raise autism risk.”   Well, since the old scary thing was shot down we need a new scary thing to keep interest up and funding fluid.

Here’s a suspicion of mine – that “autism” has become more of a bogeyman for our culture of intolerance of what we perceive as behavioral issues – and that “skyrocketing” rates reflect a desire to blame behavior on a condition rather than address the behavior or possibly harm a child’s wickedly fragile self-esteem.  My daughter has shown some behavioral issues which we’re still working on ferreting out but after I asked her teacher to “cut the bullshit and tell me what you think”, she whispered to me in conspiratorial tones that my daughter falls on the autistic spectrum disorder.  She’s also one of those teachers that feels she knows more than any parent could possibly fathom and only barely conceals it.  Not surprisingly my hackles go up when I’m even near the woman.

Now, let me be perfectly clear: My ego isn’t involved here.  I say without a lick of shame that my son is autistic – it is mild but it is there and it is as real as the day is long.  But my daughter doesn’t exhibit a single one of the classical signs of it.  She has no problem making eye contact or communicating, is a very outwardly loving and compassionate little girl, does not respond atypically to physical stimuli, and isn’t obsessive any more than the wife or I am (let’s not delve too deeply there, ok?).   Behavioral issues?  Gosh, yes – of course there are.  Show me a kid whose parent claims their kid doesn’t have behavioral issues and I’ll show you a parent that screams about “no coat hangers” on a regular basis, and immediately after that I’ll show you a kid with more cracks in their psyche than a Michigan highway.

Anyway, the scare about vaccinations and autism is beyond ridiculous.  It is causing parents to avoid getting vaccines for their kids that puts them at risk for things that are well-established:  Diseases.  The danger in not vaccinating is much higher.

In the case of clear evidence that vaccinations save lives I have little issue with requiring simple prophylactic medicine.

If my child is unvaccinated and all these other children are vaccinated, How does my child pose any threat?’ responded Workman. ‘This is my child and it’s a right I should have.

In part she is right – there’s a grey area in terms of your freedom but then again we also have traffic laws, seat belt laws, and helmet laws… so go argue about it in court.

In 1999, Madison’s older sister developed autism just months after receiving her state-required immunizations for measles, mumps and rubella.

“Right after she received her childhood vaccines…her verbal…her potty training…everything had stopped,” she said.

She didn’t describe anything other than common beyond-a-doubt autism progression.

She’s ignorant of the realities of vaccination.  There are a few things wrong with the popular understanding of “herd immunity”.  Depending upon the communicability of the disease, the number of vaccinated individuals may need to be quite high to keep the disease under control and keep making strides towards actual eradication.   Smallpox eradication happened because they made a push to get darned near everyone innoculated.

It is not unreasonable to ask that easily communicable diseases be prevented from spreading.  When you are sick and still as-yet asymptomatic as is often the case before you are full-blown sick,  you are a contagious walking virus-factory – in some cases highly so.  People who don’t respond to vaccines, are allergic to them, or are immune-compromised would appreciate it if you’d do your part.

Vaccines do not grant you ironclad immunity to diseasethey aren’t silver bullets even though they work most of the time (85% or better).  They give your body the chance to be pro-active with pathogens.  You may still get the disease and have drastically reduced symptoms (generally because something has weakened your immune system).  You may still get the full-blown disease or a variant of it.  You may not even get sick at all.

Then again you have people who love a good conspiracy story…

www-dot-unhinderedliving-dot-com/immunizations.html

Here’s the webpage’s author’s remarks:

Louis Pasteur’s germ theory is flawed.  It is not true that germs make us sick.  Germs change their function depending upon the kind of tissue they live in.  If our tissues are full of toxins, dead and decaying cells, and are in general not well nourished with vitamins and minerals, the germs will feed on this diseased tissue.  If we take good care of ourselves, make sure we have good nutrition, and regularly cleanse our bodies inside and out, especially the intestinal tract, the germs perform a maintenance and restoration function, helping keep our bodies healthy.  Germs cannot hurt you if you keep your immune system in top shape.

Amazing.  “Germs cannot hurt you if you keep your immune system in top shape.”  See the logic that requires not a shred of proof?  If you do get sick then it must follow that your immune system was not kept in top shape.

Most of these diseases, if contracted today, rarely if ever cause death, and are easily dealt with using antibiotics. They are not the threat that they were in the previous centuries, because our standard of living is better.  We know about food spoilage and clean toileting habits, which caused the majority of disease outbreaks in the past.  Personally, I would rather that my children contract measles, mumps, chicken pox, and all the others so that they develop an active immunity.  However, my children have very strong immune systems, and even though they have been exposed to children infected with these diseases, my children have never contracted any infectious disease.   There are ways to build up your immune system so that you are not susceptible to infections.

“Most of the diseases if contracted today rarely if ever cause death” is utter horseshit.  The VAST majority of people have immunizations and have no difficulties whatsoever – the number of complications from a vaccine are outweighed by several orders of magnitude by the dangers of the diseases they help prevent.

DISEASE

Measles
Pneumonia: 6 in 100
Encephalitis: 1 in 1,000
Death: 2 in 1,000

Rubella
Congenital Rubella Syndrome: 1 in 4 (if woman becomes infected early in pregnancy)

VACCINES

MMR
Encephalitis or severe allergic reaction:
1 in 1,000,000

DISEASE

Diphtheria
Death: 1 in 20

Tetanus
Death: 2 in 10

Pertussis
Pneumonia: 1 in 8
Encephalitis: 1 in 20
Death: 1 in 1,500

VACCINES

DTaP
Continuous crying, then full recovery: 1 in 1000
Convulsions or shock, then full recovery: 1 in 14,000
Acute encephalopathy: 0-10.5 in 1,000,000
Death: None proven

source:  http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/6mishome.htm

Viruses, which account for most immunizations, aren’t affected in the least by antibiotics.  I’d like to also add that antibiotics are getting so over-used we ought to be using every other possible resource first.  The “standard of living” argument does have a bit of truth to it and we do know much more about cleanliness habits.  Those habits will not protect you from a virulent contagion, however, and if it were true chickenpox would have been reduced by hygiene and not vaccinations.

I would rather that my children contract measles, mumps, chicken pox, and all the others so that they develop an active immunity.

Vaccines give you an active immunity or they wouldn’t work at all.

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Caption for a Day.

Caught my our cat, Jack, with an odd look on his kitty face.

Pick a caption and win, folks!

Cruel Wife got me a gift.  My own Jolokia peppers!  Habaneros don’t faze me all that much, Red Savinas do at roughly twice the Scoville units.  They are roughly 250,000 and 500,000 units each.  The kids don’t eat spicy food yet so my tolerance is down… who knows what will get me any more?

The Bhut Jolokia is 1,000,000 units.  I have yet to try one because I’m trying to think of the best venue.  I’m thinking a mango/pineapple salsa, myself.  A habanero, which is naturally a fruity-flavored flesh pepper, goes well in that environment.  I’m undecided on this one.  It might be that it’d be good in a mole sauce…  let me know if you have an idea for this one.  The proper dish is critical!

Here’s Wide-Load… errrr… Jill… my kitty.  Jack is CW’s more or less although he hops from family member to family member in a laid-back sort of way.

I cropped the picture wide so she’d look a bit slenderer than what those traitorous hips of hers give away.

Lest you think that “Wide Load” is unfair, compare brother and sister… the photo was captured in a hurry on-the-fly so it’s a bit fuzzy, sorry.  It’s an illustration, not Ansel Adams in color.

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Update:  Headline over at Drudge:

NYC hit with bedbugs, stink bugs - now lice...

Wait a minute… are we talking New York, or Washington D.C.?

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Note:  Sorry for the delay in posting this final installment.  I just plain haven’t felt “swell” or “peachy” enough to post.  In fact you could use my expression for how I’m feeling… “Never better.”  This was freshly proofed by my captive proof-reader, Intahx E-cated Ho‡, using Dark Jedi Mind Powers.  Long live the Republic!

‡ Not the proofer’s real name.

Where did we leave off in the last installment?

We had just left the warm comforting bosom of our hotel in Madison, Wisconsin, I believe.

It was a morning full of promise.  The sun was out and it was a lapis sky (which only exists in the mind’s eye and on Kodak prints), the birds were chirping gaily (or so it was reported to me by Cruel Wife since I couldn’t and still cannot hear a bird unaided if my life were to depend upon it), and in the distance, masked by the scent of trepidation from our near-prescient kitty, was the future-stench of bowels as-yet unloosed.

Stretching out before us was a crossroads of sorts.  Had we smelt our kitty more closely we might have turned south and kept going, stopping only when we hit the Gulf of Mexico.  Or, we might have turned north and fled to Canada.  Had we fled to Canada the odds are quite high that we’d have turned around and come back for lack of interesting things to do there, but we might have gone the scenic route before fleeing towards the southern border.

But we did not smell our kitty more closely.

New Rule #8:  Always, always, always smell your kitty before embarking on a journey.

Because we did not smell our kitty and thus missed the prescient miasma about his furry personage, we chose the eastern, i.e. towards Michigan, road.

I would love to tell you the following:  That the Goose Lake State Wildlife area was beautiful, that Rock Lake was pristine and unsullied, that parts of Waukesha were quaint and that I had found a great hot dog joint there.  But I can’t tell you any of that because I’ve never been to those places.  I told a little white fib for theatrics earlier, because we did turn south at the crossroads in Madison but we only went as far as we needed to go in order to follow I-90 into Chicago.

What is sad about the route that we took is that I remember absolutely nothing about it.

They say that it is not uncommon to lose the memory of events leading up to an accident or a traumatic event.  It is here that things get a bit hazy beyond a 100 foot radius (the distance in which you just barely have time to say “OhJesusMaryMotherofGodIdon’twanttodielikethisandpleasekeepfromscreamingandshutthecatup” if you say it really really fast like I did, fifty or sixty times)

New Rule #9:  Drug the cat before entering Chicago unless it is in a crate in the back of the truck.

New Rule #10:  Drug the wife before entering Chicago unless she is in a crate in the back of the truck.

New Rule #11:  Double up on Drixoral™ before entering Chicago so the Shadow People that you hallucinate can read maps and navigate for you.

We came southward on I-90/94 with the intent of driving through Chicago in a straight-shot.  I didn’t see a single piece of Chicago since we were coming through it at A Very Bad Time.  By “A Very Bad Time” I mean during a busy period combined with lots of road work.  It was a reasonably hot day and we were doing a lot of necessary but tedious stop-and-go but then the highway opened up for us.  The cat was restless, we were restless, and also restless were many many other cranky drivers.  It wasn’t very long before I found myself behind a semi – and we were all driving very fast at this point.

The cat started to get fluffy.  I glanced down just long enough to see his eyes and pupils were the size of dinner plates at the Hungry Heifer.  Cruel Wife was making a strange noise that fell between strangling and keening.

I embraced (frantically clutched at) my inner child, got in tune with my feminine side, and got way more in tune with my surroundings.  I was at maximal situational awareness because we were now in “heightened circumstances” that were quite beyond our control, viz, we were now boxed in by four enormous trucks and traveling well beyond the speed limit while going around a fairly noteworthy curve.  Silver d’Cat was trying to be helpful, pointing out things that I could do as safety measures but all that was really getting through to me was something that sounded like “Mrrreooowww, hisss, mreeeow, fttttt, hisss, mrrrreowwwrr” but I can’t really be sure.  He repeated himself several times and got louder each time but I couldn’t really hear him over Cruel Wife speaking to me.  It seemed that she was speaking not only in several voices at once but also in at least two additional languages (most alarmingly, they seemed to be dead languages).  It was exceedingly difficult to please her in this instance (more so than usual) because all of her instructions were contradictory – slow down, speed up, turn on your blinker, don’t move, stop, use your vertical thrusters (huh?), build a campfire, lay a new course of tiles, and (my favorite) invent something *quick*.

Ever smelled the combination of cat fear, human sweat, diesel exhaust, and particulates from truly leviathan† truck tires?  It is nauseating.  It’s worse than the combined scent of wildflowers and shame.

A quick note here.  I am referring to “Leviathan” in the sense used by Hobbes, not a sea creature but the concept of something so much bigger than one’s self, a construct of great enormity.  Otherwise in the context of a truck-as-sea-monster it just sounds silly unless it is a truck full of fish-sticks or octopi, not that those two things aren’t rather silly in their own right.

Smells are just not something you need to add to your sensory overload at a time like this.

New Rule #12:  Utilize something like Mentholatum™ as a prophylactic when entering into a situation that is going to involve Odors of Amply Sufficient Vileness.

Let us step outside of events briefly, shall we, Constant Reader?

If we were to freeze the moment, we could walk up and survey the scene in a relaxed and objective fashion, so we’ll do just that.   We might learn something, and we might learn nothing – life is sometimes like that but at least we will be able to say that we made the attempt.  What would we see?  Would it touch us on some deeper level?  Would we be amused?  Disgusted?  Fearful?  Let us see…

We would see a cramped truck cab with two fearful young adults, one male (sweaty, driving), one female (clawed, shrieking), one feline (felis domesticus, yowling), and no fewer than twelve Shadow People that only existed in the mind of the young man behind the wheel of the vehicle because of his cold medicine.  We could stand with our backs to the doors of the truck and reach out and touch the dusty trailers of the semi-trucks to either side.  Four or five healthy strides forwards or backwards would bring us to the trailer doors or grille of the trucks fore and aft.  Sad, endearing, and perfectly understandable would be the small fluffy cat with large panicky eyes as he is frozen in the act of burying his head under the young woman’s arm.  A violent localized squall may be seen through the bug-spattered windshield as a mass of papers and junk food wrappers swirling around the cab and out the half-open windows.  Neither the young man or woman looks happy and the small fluffy cat is clearly beyond help at this moment in time, having taken leave of his senses.

And suddenly it was over.  The roaring of the trucks receded in this distance.  The sound of a mortally terrified Silver d’Cat died off slowly.  The sounds of Cruel Wife choking on self-contradictory instructions ceased.  All that remained was the panting of three exhausted souls.

Note:  If you were thinking that the loosed-bowel remark at the beginning of this story was a literal placeholder for events to come I am pleased to disappoint you – no bowels were voided on that day except in a completely voluntary fashion.

What did we learn?

New Rule #13:  Never drive a small truck through Chicago with a cat of any breed.

And then the details of the journey got fuzzy again.   We were all dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder in varying degrees and would be for some months to come (cat psychologists are rare and almost prohibitively expensive, by the way).   The next thing I personally recall was passing Kalamazoo.  It was then that I either started humming Hoyt Axton’s Cat Named Kalamazoo or I started running it through my head over and over.

It was Della and the Dealer and a dog named Jake

And a cat named Kalamazoo

Left the city in a pick-up truck

Gonna make some dreams come true

Of course then our story deviates wildly from Axton’s song because we were heading east, neither Cruel Wife nor I have ever had or ever will have a dog named Jake, Silver d’Cat obviously wasn’t named Kalamazoo (duh), our cat didn’t stay cool, and I’m not evil (only in moderation).  But the tune was catchy and stuck with me.

Two hours later I got out of the truck, kissed the ground (literally), we threw the cat in the apartment, and we took off in search of some cheap comfort food.

Thus concludes the story Driving to Michigan with a Drugged Cat in the Truck.

The fate of the Dramatis Personae: Silver d’Cat lived another twelve years, Cruel Wife has not killed me in my sleep yet, and we continue to live in Michigan.

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