Saturday, May 12, 2007

I Know Who You Are, And I Saw What You Did!

"One of my contentions is that bad or inconsiderate driving behavior begins right in our own neighborhoods. We're already speeding on our street or running stop signs, then we take this behavior on to every other roadway."

-Tom Everson

Does it get anymore irritating than this? Alan and I went to the chili cook off in Castro Valley last night, and instead of just being able to park, we have to contend with this! If it had been a case of one inconsiderate dolt who had taken up more than one space, it would have been one thing, but there were at least three different incidents of this within a parking area of about 175 available spaces. That might sound like a lot of parking, but not when you consider as many as 1,000 people usually attend this event. I am all for folks doing their own thing, and driving what they want, but I really believe that if you can't handle the vehicle you own, you need to not be driving it. I finally got into this space, after giving up on two others, but as you can see, my space was invaded on, and the spooky thing is, the car encroaching on my space isn't that big!

Now before you jump on me for being some kind of car bigot, understand, three out of the last four times I was cut off in traffic, it was by a vehicle that was twice the size of my car. Two SUVs and a LARGE/ExtraLONG truck. What is the deal with that? Why does it seem like most SUV drivers, drive like they think the road is just for them? Is it something about the vehicles themselves? Does the gasoline, which you pay so dearly for, have the some sort of VIAGRA it? With national gas prices at an all time high, how and why would you want a vehicle which not only can you obviously not park, but which also costs you a small fortune just to go about town?

I know, I know, not everyone who owns a truck or SUV is as inconsiderate as the folks I saw last night, and in general, most people can handle the their choice of auto, but really, situations like this do seem to be happening more and more. Now I have been cut off by regular sized vehicles as well, but I have been paying close attention since last August, when I was very nearly in an accident, after I was cut off on HWY580, by a truck. I shook off the fear after a few weeks, but now, every time I have to be on that particular stretch of road, I think about that day... and how scared I was. Alan was with me, and all I could think of was, "God please, if this is it, please don't let Alan suffer." I thought of him. Sigh.

It's bad enough when someone makes that kind of mistake, or acts unsafely in traffic, but when you actually park your vehicle, get out, and go about your business without checking to see if you have parked correctly, well, that just makes you a jerk. Of course on the other hand, it's not like the DMV makes anyone pass a test of ethics or consideration, but don't they still make you prove you can park the vehicle you drive? I honestly think that more tickets need to be handed out to those who can't park their cars sufficiently, and then after oh, say, three times ticketed within a year... YANK... goes the license! Because obviously you need more practice. I blotted out the plate number of the cars I photographed for this entry, it's just my personal ethic, but I am really thinking about posting the plate number the next time this happens. Sigh.

Ok, your turn. Tell me what you think. Am I wrong? Am I right? Do you have an opinion about SUVs in general? Do you have a personal pet driving peeve? Opinions, opinions!


"Bad Driver"
Castro Village Shopping Center
Castro Valley, California
May 11th, 2007
Late Afternoon

**By the way, other than this situation, we had a really good time. I will have a round-up of my weekend activities, with plenty of fun photos, for my post on Monday.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The ABC's Of Me :)

"Life never becomes a habit to me, it is always a marvel."

-Katherine Mansfield

It's been quite a week, but this weekend ought to be kinda fun. Later tonight, Alan and I are going to a Chili cook-off, then on Saturday, we are going to the Rowell Ranch Rodeo Parade, in Castro Valley, then later in the evening we are going across the bay to photograph the fireworks from the KABOOM concert, and finally on Sunday, hopefully, we can get over to the city to do a little camera time. There are a couple of very special time sensitive things I want to photograph. It has to be done within a certain limited window of opportunity. We'll see.

That's a lot more activity then I have had recently, so I think I might be overreaching a bit with what I want to do, but as you know, I enjoy a good plan "B" just as much as my original ideas. So, with all this coming up, and my continuing drama of learning to give insulin to Elvis, of which I am currently 0 for 2, I thought I would be good to myself and go to bed early. But I found this meme over at Patrick's Place, who had seen it at Robbie's and Wil's,(Hi Robbie and Wil) so I thought I might give it a try as well. Thanks guys! :) Here we go...

The ABC's Of Me

A-Available or Single? Nope, well, maybe. I think Alan is getting ready to throw me back. It never hurts to ask... make me an offer! :) Really! :)

B-Best Friend: H.P.

C-Cake or Pie: Cake please. Especially Black Forest cake. It's my favorite. :)

D-Drink of Choice: Coke Classic.

E-Essential Item(s) My car, computer, CD player, cell phone, and David Duchovny.

F-Favorite Colors(s) Black, purple, green.

G-Gummi Bears or Worms? Definitely bears, especially cinnamon bears.

H-Hometown? Y'all know that one already.

I-Indulgence: Bubble bath. I like lots and lots of bubbles!

J-January or February: February... it has less days in it!

K-Kids: Nope.

L-Life is incomplete without: Music.

M-Marriage Date: October 13, 1990.

N-Number of siblings: Pass

O-Oranges or Apples? Oranges, I love citrus fruit.

P-Phobias/Fears: Spiders, Fire, Needles.

Q-Favorite Quote:

"For every evil under the sun, there is a remedy or there is none. If there be one seek till you find it. If there be none, then never mind it."

-Mother Goose

R-Reasons to smile: Elvis when he smiles. :) Kites, finding a really good photo op without looking for it.

S-Season: Autumn.

T-Tag Three: Nah... if you like the meme feel free to play along. :)

U-Unknown Fact About Me: I think I have pretty much told you everything, but if you have a question for me please feel welcome to leave it in the comment thread for this entry and I will answer it for you. Only one per customer please. :)

V-Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? I eat meat, but I really am more of a vegetarian then not. I love my salads. :)

W-Worst Habit(s) I am resistant to change of any kind. I can be a bit rigid.

X- X-rays or Ultrasounds? If I had to choose between the two, I guess I would go with the ultrasound. It can be rather soothing.

Y-Your Favorite Foods: Italian food, cheesecake, salad.

Zodiac: I am a Cancer or Moon Child. I am a true one. Sentimental and romantic to a fault. LOL.

There you go... that is the wonder that is me! :) Care to tell me about yourself? If you play along, comeback here and leave me a link to your entry so I can see your answers. :)


"A Reason To Smile"
Berkeley, California
May 10th, 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Steven's Feline Friday: Elvis... The New Adventure Begins!

"You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats."


My little boy is home! The adventure with his new health regimen begins! He had a difficult afternoon, as he had to say goodbye to Dr."B" and his two favorite nurses, "M" and "D." Elvis always enjoys seeing them, once he gets to the doctor's office, it's the traveling in-between that he doesn't care for. He is scared of the sound of sirens, and unfortunately there was a fire truck going by just as Alan stepped out of the doctor's office with him. It scared Elvis pretty bad, but it was soon over with, and the office isn't too far away, so they were home in just a few minutes. After a half hour or so of giving us the cold shoulder, he was his same old self. Grinning, chasing his laser mouse, and when it came time for his first injection of insulin, we were much more nervous then he was! LOL.

Alan gave him his first dose, just after dinner. It couldn't have gone smoother. :) Then it was my time with Elvis, as I gave him a treat of two Tbs. Beef and Gravy Gerber's baby food. We will have to keep that on hand now, as it will be a regular part of his insulin schedule. Later on this morning, at around 5:00 am, it will be my turn to give him an injection. Gulp! Actually, I am not worried. He and I will do a little Yoga, have our Wheaties, and then he will hold my paw as I cowboy up, and give him a shot for the first time. :) I can do this?! I can do this! Right?


Here is Elvis, after he came home last night. :)

Dr "B" had to shave his neck a bit in order to draw his blood. :( That kinda caught me off guard a bit. he has to have his blood checked again next week, so it might be a while before he looks the same, but he is being a good sport. Like I said, I am the Nervous Nelly... not him! LOL.

He was a happy little guy last night, just after we took this photo, he got a new red collar, with a heart shaped tag which reads, "I am Diabetic." It was recommended as a precaution, should he ever somehow get out of the yard.

This is my entry for this week's edition of Feline Friday, the day my pal Steven has set aside to honor the cats we love. You can find out all the information you need to play along by visiting his blog, (sometimes) photoblog.

PS Thanks everyone for the emails and comments regarding my previous post. Your good thoughts and wishes really helped a lot! :)

"No life is so hard that you can't make it easier by the way you take it."

-Ellen Glasgow

"Elvis In Shades"
May 29th, 2007
Berkeley, California
Late Afternoon

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Insert Cat Here

"An animals eyes have the power to speak a great language."

-Martin Buber

It's been a tough week, but it's getting better. Sigh. It all started kind of slow, it was subtle little things. Elvis was just not his usual self. Even as I sit here right now, it's difficult to describe his symptoms. He was his same happy little self, alert and eager to play. He had a good appetite, and he would greet us when we came home, but his afternoon naps where suddenly much longer than usual, and he had begun to lose weight. That was the first big signal we had, that something wasn't right. He had also begun to sneeze... a lot. And with the sneezing came the wheezing and some coughing, then just as suddenly as it began, it all stopped and seemed to be gone. Everything seemed normal again, but at his birthday party Alan and I noticed he was a good bit thinner than he was at his last weigh-in last February. We decided to call his vet, Dr. "B" and tell him what was happening. Dr. "B" said to bring him in last Thursday, early in the morning, for blood work and a urine test. We found out Friday, that Elvis has advanced Diabetes.

It was a terrible thing to find out. All kinds of terrible thoughts ran through my mind about how I was about to lose my best little buddy. Sigh. I was reeling a good bit, when Alan reminded me to do what I always do when something changes in my life, do some research, find out the facts, and educate myself. That is the way forward. So, feeling really lost and scared about what kind of decisions might be in front of us, I went and did my homework. As it turns out, while Elvis's diabetes is advanced, we can get it under control, and help him stay on the right track with an adjustment to his diet, and two injections daily of insulin. We can do that! He will be fine, it just means paying a little closer attention to him when he eats, to make sure he does indeed eat his meals, and when he is done, we give him a shot of insulin, followed by a treat.

Dr. "B" says that a spoonful or two of his favorite baby food or some plain cooked chicken will do fine. Whew! We are lucky, in that there was no damage done to his liver or kidneys, and other than the diabetes, he is in excellent health. He has to do some special exercises to gain back some of the muscle tone he has lost, but we will be able to help him with that, especially now that he will begin to feel like his old self, as the insulin does it's job. The most difficult part will be the first time I have to give him and injection. Sigh. It will be a lot worse for me, than for him. LOL. But I will be learning how to do that later today, and I will be able to deal with it. I have done more than one thing in this life I would have sworn I wouldn't have survived, and in the end, I did indeed get through it.

He has been in the hospital for the last couple days, while Dr. "B" regulates his insulin intake. It was hard sending him off last Monday, with his favorite hat on and his stuffed monkey, "Cap-N-Federick" by his side. He didn't even fuss about being put into his carrier, an event which usually brings about a good bit of protest! LOL. Not this time, he simply gave his daddy a dirty look and sat down on his companion, and said nothing. I think I wished in that moment he would have given me that defiant "NO" mew, which really does sound like he is saying, "NO!"

Alan and I have been alone since Monday morning. It's the first time in a long time, and it was strange to realize how much time we had spent with him individually and the three of us as a family. Elvis is our child. He is a part of every single day, and is a factor in the decisions we make. We take our jobs as parents to this cat seriously. Not everyone does. A point which has caused a good bit of stress lately with a neighbor of ours. There is a responsibility in owning a pet, and sometimes I wish it could be regulated who is allowed to keep a pet and who isn't, but I will save that rant for another entry.

Anyway, Alan and I both have head colds. It is the second one I have had since the first of the year. Apparently when I get stressed out to a certain level, I catch a head cold. LOL. The fact that Alan and I are both sick, at the same time, is another thing which hasn't happened in quite some time. LOL. We have been having record heat in the Bay Area... just making things about as uncomfortable as it can be, but he and I have been enjoying our time together anyway. The other night we ate Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese in bed, while we watched a spooky movie on TV. Last night it was soup and the very scary Irwin Allen movie, "The Swarm." LOL. There is nothing better than macaroni and cheese, a head cold which produces a fever of at least 101, a comfy bed, and the company of someone you love. I just wish Elvis could have been there also, stealing a bite of the cheesy noodle yumminess. Noodles of any kind make him giggle. :)

Today will be a good day.The temperature is supposed to be 70 degrees. Whew! My fever is down to 99, and we pick Elvis up from Dr."B" this afternoon. We will be fine, the three of us, we will work it out together. It's just another one of our adventures. Right? Oh, and in case you are wondering about the pamphlet in the above photo, well see, Dr. "B" had run out of the pamphlets with cats on the cover, so he gave us the one with the dog, and said, "wherever it says dog insert cat." Hmmm... cats and dogs are treated the same way. That makes sense... I guess. LOL. Elvis would hate knowing he shares something with dogs. LOL. I don't think I will tell him. Nope. Not a good idea. LOL. See, I still have my sense of humor, thank goodness, because I think I am going to need it. :)