Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Good news! After a rough night last Wed., Saffron clearly feels better. She's acting like her old self: talking to us, purring a lot, and eating everything in sight (her food, Sophie's food, and our food).
Even better news: Saffron's blood test today showed that one of liver enzyme levels has dropped (improved); it has dropped enough that's nearly in normal range. The other enzyme went up such a tiny bit that the change is not significant. This is wonderful news! I expected the results to be the same as the last test; I never dreamed that we'd see this much improvement.
I did ask Dr. Amy if the fact that Saffron is still alive and actually improving means this is more likely to be liver disease than cancer. She said that IS likely and it's also gone on far too long to simply be from the weight she lost when she had gingivitis.
The regular doses of fluid, Reglan, and B12 are obviously helping and Dr. Amy said we should continue to encourage her to eat. I can do that!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
According to Sky and Telescope "A total eclipse of the Moon occurs before and/or during dawn tomorrow morning for much of the Americas. The farther west you are the better. (For Hawaii the eclipse happens during the middle of the night. For Australia, New Zealand, and much of the Far East the local time is Tuesday evening, perhaps around sunset.)"
This is a picture of one of the many pipe and drum bands I saw yesterday at the Kalamazoo Scottish Festival.
The festival was held at the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds, so there was lots of room but, unfortunately, the rain kept many people away, including some of the vendors.
Speaking of vendors, we really liked the t-shirts by Got-Kilt? (Follow the link to pictures of the t-shirts on his web site; there you will also find a link his blog with a Celtic joke every Monday.)
After a rainy start, the day turned out to be sunny and breezy -- perfect weather for all the activities, and there were quite a few:
Event Attractions For 2007I didn't see the Clydesdales or greyhounds, but enjoyed the herding demos and visiting with the Border Collies and the longhorned Highland cow and her calf.
We are host a traditional ceilidh again this year at the Kalamazoo Fairgrounds. Friday night, please bring a dish to pass. Join us for an enjoyable evening of storytelling, singing, piping, and dancing.
* Pipe Bands
Enjoy on-field performances by area bands and two massed band demonstrations. Talk with band representatives about piping and drumming and, maybe, give it a try!
Visit the clan tents to trace your roots, meet “family,” and join in the parade of tartans!
See demonstrations of highland dancing given by the award-winning Kathleen McMahon Dancers. Watch or join in with the Kalamazoo Royal Scottish Country Dancers.
* Heavy Events
Cheer the regional amateur athletes competing in such highland games events as the stone put, hammer throw and caber toss. You could test your skill in the renowned haggis throw!
* Children’s Games
Kids of all ages may participate in the children’s parade and games.
Watch artisans demonstrate ancient crafts. Marvel at spinners, weavers, and a blacksmith.
Walk through the encampment of Grant’s Company of the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment. Visit the History Tent and join in the activities with Elliot MacFarlane.
Shop for Scottish and American food, clothing, jewelry, books, music and more.
* Animal Exhibitions
See rare Highland cattle and watch border collies in herding demonstrations. Visit Clydesdale horses, Jacobs Sheep and see the greyhounds.
Lots of people bought their dogs, so I got meet and pet lots of beautiful dogs. Here are a few:
A cute Dachshund in a kilt.
Just a few of the 16 Border Collie puppies.
Connery stopped by our booth to visit and enjoy the shade.
The people who didn't attend due to the threat of bad weather missed a good festival and lots of fun. Hopefully this year's Irish Fest will have equally lovely weather (unlike last year's monsoon).
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Rowling demonstrated how good she is at misdirection in the Harry Potter books, so I'm sure any detective novels she writes will be very well written. I just have one question: she's the richest woman in Britain and she still writes in cafes? How the heck does she avoid being continually interrupted by her fans?
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I've been hunting for the tape for several years without success. A few years ago I even e-mailed Meg Bussert who is an instructor at NYU Steinhardt. At that time all she knew was that the rights had been sold to A&E. When I contacted A&E they had no idea when it would be available.
Now, quite by accident, I found it was released on DVD May 1, 2007. (At last!) I've already ordered my copy from Amazon.
If you haven't seen this version, I must say I like far better than the 1967 movie with Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave (which looks very dated). The performances are fresh and entertaining. Bussert plays Guenevere with a charming mix of innocence and cunning. Richard Muenz portrays Lancelot as confident but a bit naive. These interpretations make the tragic ending all the more poignant. Harris is, of course, superb as the idealistic and forgiving Arthur. I can hardly wait for my DVD to arrive so I can see it again after 24 years. (Man, does that make me feel old! I was about 20 the last time I saw it.)
UPDATE Aug. 22: It arrived today and I watched it immediately. It's a good as I remembered: beautiful costumes and staging, wonderful music, and Harris was so good I didn't think of Dumbledore once. :) There aren't many special features on the DVD (not even closed captioning), but I don't care. I'm so glad to finally own a copy of this version!
Every day I find a dead or dying bee near the sliding door and kill at least one live bee that's hanging around the door. I can only assume they are attracted to the flowers on the porch and come in to enjoy the air conditioning any time we open the door. Unfortunately for the bees, coming in here is a death sentence.
I'm rapidly overcoming my bee phobia because I'm so afraid they will hurt my cats that my instinct is to kill the the bees. Is that an unrealistic fear? Maybe, but Saffron is so sick she doesn't need a bee sting to add to her problems. Sophie likes to eat bugs, and has found several feeble bees for me, so she's even more likely to get stung.
My husband tells me these bees don't even have stingers, but I don't care! I'm not taking any chances. Bees, be warned: enter at your own peril!
Mayor Fred Rappuhn has thrown his hat into the ring for another four years. Rappuhn has served as mayor for four years.I'm not surprised. I think many residents are annoyed about the canopies, scheduling major downtown work just before this year's Pumpkin Festival, and the idea of a new "municipal center" (i.e., city hall and library).
Rappuhn has some competition though, with three other candidates in the running: Jim Hansen (a former city councilman), Charles Purdy, and Fred "Mac" Fortner, who has also served on council in past years.
Mayor Pro Tem Ralph Arceo and Councilman Don Csutoras, are running for re-election. Newcomer Gordon Winther, who was choosen to fill Kevin McKague’s vacant seat on Monday June 25, has also turned in his petition.
Three other residents running for city council are Tim Bishop, Jim Hershberger and Tom Lesnock.
Future issues facing the city council include looking at building a new municipal center, continued infrastructure needs and economic development.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
UPDATE Mon., Aug. 13: Fluids are helping. Last Fri, she weighed 5 lb. 5 oz. (and must have been pretty dehydrated); today she was 5 lb. 14 oz. and today she clearly feels better! Yesterday she wouldn't eat anything except baby food (she usually prefers her crunchy food); today she's eating everything in sight: baby food, treats, crunchy food, and our food!
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
I continue my home exercise plan and wearing my brace for another 3-4 months. It I get the faintest twinge of sharp pain, I see the sports doc again, but right now everything looks very promising!
Since typing is one of the things that makes the tendonitis worse, I asked if he had any advice for how to deal with teaching three on-line classes this fall. In addition to being as ergonomic as possible, he recommend dictation software: here's the Mac version. I ordered my copy today. He said once you get used to it, it's very efficient and he uses it all the time. I hope it's as easy as it looks! Of course, I will be blogging about it once I get my copy. :)
Friday, August 03, 2007
What do you see when you look at the full moon? I see a friendly face smiling back down at me, but maybe I'm not seeing what everyone else is seeing.
This site has some wonderful images of How to see the man in the moon and Images seen in the Maria of the moon. Some of these images are quite complex, like these examples of the man in the moon and the moon hare:
What I see is actually a much simpler version of the Man in the Moon. I've darkened the facial features so you can get an idea of how I see it:
Is this what you see, or do you see something more complicated?
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Summary on CNN Rowling: So you want to know what happens next?
Complete transcript on The Leaky Cauldron.
I'm glad Jo filled us in! This info, plus the Epilogue, should be enough to keep other authors from trying to "fill in the gaps" -- and it's so much better than Sir Arther Conan Doyle's Reichenbach Falls solution for dealing with Sherlock Holmes. I don't know if this will satisfy readers' desire for more Harry Potter stories, but it's good info.