Slow Sunday Slurry

Well, it might be a slow Sunday for you, but it’s not for me.  Those of you who know about our issues with the p*ss wars probably don’t know it’s confined to room and almost exclusively to the sofas on that room.

It’s a  long story, and yes, I know why.  There is also a vent in the dining room.  Let’s just say that vents on the floor are bad ideas with cats.

Anyway, so months ago we closed the dining room and the movie room.  There is a problem with that from the POV of the humans.  This house is designed to be actually very open and for traffic to flow between those two rooms (and heating too.)  Closing them up took away some of the livability of the house, made the dining room dark.  Like rooms not being used the living room, dining room and movie room (our fancy name for a room with a computer, an exercise machine and a sofa… oh, yeah, and my craft stuff.  But it’s where we watch movies, so…) started accumulating what’s technically known as cr*p.  Not cat cr*p, just the human sheddings.  Boxes piled in the movie room, books piled in the living room.  I colonized the dining room with my art and sewing stuff.

Well, my husband, proving once more he’s the brains of this association, came up with a solution.  We had tried baby/dog gates in the past in vain.  Cats jumped over them.  But husband pointed out the existence of TALL pet gates and also that three of the cats are very old and one is very pudgy.  So I got one of those gates, and we installed it at the bottom of the stairs, where an archway leads to the dining room.  On the other side of the kitchen, the doorway into the dining room has a swinging glass door, which blocks the little pests.  This leaves us the three rooms cat-free and stops the p*ss wars.

Oh, frabujous day, right?  Yeah — except when it became obvious they couldn’t go through the gate, I decided to clean the living room.  It was a bit like cleaning an abandoned area, because we hadn’t been able to USE it.  We couldn’t put anything on the coffee table, because the cats might hit it.  Ditto with my art work, which was supposed to take place in the nook, but was mostly in the dining room — etc.  I took advantage to move the furniture and wax the floor, wax-polish the wood furniture, wash the sofas getting rid of any residual issues (there weren’t many.  I’d kept them covered.  Unfortunately they hit some uncovered corners.)

So, today I have the dining room and movie room to finish (should be faster.) AND hopefully I get to write this evening.

I haven’t finished the book, so no vacation, but the offloading of some of the blog (at least) is making writing something I want to do again, proving my diagnosis was correct.

My younger kid brought strep home on his last day of finals, but I haven’t caught it (knock on wood) and let’s hope I don’t.  He’s medicated to the gills, of course.

Meanwhile, a few links for your Sunday consideration:

Obama Repeals ObamaCare

Under pressure from Senate Democrats, the President partly suspends the individual mandate.

It seems Nancy Pelosi was wrong when she said “we have to pass” ObamaCare to “find out what’s in it.” No one may ever know because the White House keeps treating the Affordable Care Act’s text as a mere suggestion subject to day-to-day revision. Its latest political retrofit is the most brazen: President Obama is partly suspending the individual mandate.

The White House argued at the Supreme Court that the insurance-purchase mandate was not only constitutional but essential to the law’s success, while refusing Republican demands to delay or repeal it. But late on Thursday, with only four days to go before the December enrollment deadline, the Health and Human Services Department decreed that millions of Americans are suddenly exempt.

Because rule of law if for sissies.  And for all my colleagues who ran around during the shutdown screaming it was settled law: THESE ARE MY MIDDLE FINGERS.  Next time you clucking chickens (particularly the men) run around carrying water for our would-be feudal masters remember you’re not nearly as smart as you think you are.  What you mistake for reasoning is actually your pathetic nerd-left-out wish to belong.  Grow up. If you doubt this is a dictatorial regime, see where they make and break law by the wave of the hand and let me tell you right now, ladies (particularly the men), dictatorial regimes are bad for geeks, nerds, weirdos, outliers and odds.  They pound all the round pegs into the square holes they control.  And you will be pounded too, and not in a way you’ll enjoy.

The Washington Times says it’s the Season for Apologies:

If Barack Obama wants a worthy legacy, now that he is well on his way to wrecking the health care system, he should establish a Cabinet-level department to make sure that every American gets all the apologies he deserves.

Demanding apologies has become the national pastime. The apologies don’t have to be authentic, and in fact few of them are. The most often heard apology, usually offered by a politician, is something like “I sincerely apologize to anyone who might have been offended for anything I said.” Translated from the corporate vernacular, that’s “if I said anything to hurt your feelings, tough.”

Hey, why not?  After all, he DID spend most of his first year in office apologizing to everyone else.  But the issue, of course, is apologizing for things you actually did.  That’s much harder, particularly for president never-been-spanked-baby, who thinks that his farts don’t stink.  Anyone care to lay a bet on whether he’ll actually grow up?  No?  D*mn it.  My retirement fund could use some padding.

Meanwhile,  this don’t look too good:

Chinese military lashes out at Japanese defense documents

On the one hand, Japan claimed that it is a peace-loving country, and that it adheres to a defensive defense policy and will not be a military power. On the other hand, Japan is peddling the so-called “proactive pacifism”, said Geng.

In its new defense program guidelines, Japan gave up the policy of building of a moderate self-defense force and proposed to revise the “Three Principles on Arms Exports”.

Japan also planned to purchase advanced armament like F-35 stealth fighters, surveillance drone fleet and Aegis destroyers and tried to form a fast-response-amphibious unit, said Geng.

Where is Japan’s military and security policy going? Geng questioned, adding that it causes great concerns from Japan’s Asian neighbors and international society.

Of course, Japan is an ally of the US and no one would dare… Oh, stop it.  Unless you want to lay a small bet…

But be not afraid.  There is a tendency to think that we are in unique or very difficult trouble.  We are in very difficult trouble, but there is — dare I say it — hope, if nothing else because people are catching on to being yanked around.

The boat might get rocky and the water choppy, but in the end we win they lose, because that’s the trend of history and the way to bet (so NOW you want to bet.  I see.)

Meanwhile it’s that time of year, yes, the one you’ve been waiting for with big eyes and anxious ears…

It’s time for the 2013 Darwin awards, the reminder that every day, in every way, the human race is getting better and better because those too stupid to live, don’t.

Here is a sample:

1. When his .38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.
And Now, The Honorable Mentions:
2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger. The chef’s claim was approved.
3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.
And now I’m going to wax the dining room.  Be good and don’t OD on the eggnog.  I put real rum in it.  (What?  It’s low carb.  So I have to make it at home.)


68 responses to “Slow Sunday Slurry

  1. To me one of the more disturbing aspects of the ACA is recent reports that many of our best research hospitals are finding themselves excluded from the new comprehensive insurance plans. Seems that their costs are out of line, and since every hospital must certainly provide the same quality of care (snark) those that charge premium fees are being forced out of the market.
    Connecting the dots, the unintended consequence is that the very finest care now will no longer exist, or only be available to the extremely wealthy. The rest of us find ourselves relegated to the sort of “adequate” care now experienced in VA facilities. Not a slam on the VA, they do the best they can with the resources on hand, but it’s not and never has been cutting edge care, and to make matters worse must comply with all the BS that comes with a government operation.
    I thank the Lord that I was found to have cancer four years ago. The local hospital had a DaVinci robotic laproscotic surgical machine on hand that allowed a very skillful surgeon to get it all and I’ve been four years cancer free. Were that to occur two years hence I have serious doubts as to my survivability.
    Under the ACA people are going to die. But that does not concern the powers that be for those little people are just numbers. Care for TPTB will not diminish in the slightest.

    • don’t be surprised, that too is part of the plan. All Of It. a Canadian style NHS with perhaps a few ultra-high dollar private hospitals so the ruling class doesn’t have to consort with the proles. That a goodly number will no longer be around is viewed by many of those who forced this as a feature as well. Greenies are fully integrated into the Dem party and their thought process (humans bad … need less humans) is now a party platform left unsaid.

    • “many of our best research hospitals are finding themselves excluded from the new comprehensive insurance plans. ”

      Of course. Those facilities are for dictators, foreign and domestic.

  2. If you don’t mind, I shall take vicarious pleasure in your clean living room. It beats cleaning mine …

  3. As bad as Obamacare is — or would be, if enacted as written, and make no mistake: this is terrible law, terrible medicine and terrible morality — the administration’s ad hoc responses to problems make a very bad law even worse. The chaos engendered means that insurers have no safe harbors, that medical care providers have no assurance their costs will be covered and customers have every reason to delay buying insurance because, hey! who knows? if you like your current policy you may get to keep it after all!

    Watching this administration reminds me of a stint I put in working for a business owned by an alcoholic family. Decisions would get made, remade, unmade all without regard to their resonances within the overall system. Time and energy best spent developing and following a business plan were instead squandered dealing with the crisis of the hour. At least with that family enterprise the rigors of the marketplace ensured some corrective mechanism; this government? Barack Claudius Obama has only the rigors of international competition to ensure contact with reality and by all evidence he is a slower learner than Jimmy Carter.

    To top it all, our light-bringer loght-weight seems intent on ensuring no Ronald Reagan can succeed in undoing what Obama hath wrought: Obama’s national security cop-out

    … The essence of my posts is that the Obama administration hand-picked a left-leaning panel to report on surveillance policy because it wanted a highly critical report to use as the basis for cutting back substantially on electronic surveillance.

    … Obama’s attempt to reduce the NSA’s ability to use electronic surveillance to detect terrorist activity is being replicated throughout the national security apparatus, including at the CIA where he is desperate to shut down certain successful programs before he leaves office.

    Obama has lacked the courage of his convictions on national security. He has been unwilling to risk his presidency in the name of his civil libertarian principles by implementing reforms he desires that would reduce the government’s ability to thwart terrorism.

    However, Obama seems to have few qualms about risking the presidency of his successor — or about risking the security of the nation — in the name of his principles.

  4. C. J. Cherryh has posted a note ( regarding the training of cats that might be relevant, if somewhat late to be helpful.

    (My ambiguity above was deliberate: she writes of humans training cats, and being trained by cats.)

  5. Some of the “2013 Darwins” mentioned are recycled stories. Here are some new ones:

  6. When there’s no certainty in the law, chaos follows. And what we’re seeing isn’t a patch on what’s to come – with the various ‘legacies’ that Obama was wanting starting to crack asunder, you’ll see his supporters scurrying around with Spackle and paint attempting to ‘repair’ what was structurally flawed and unworkable in the first place.

    So next up, while they attempt to paint over the cracks in Obamacare, he’s going to focus like a laser on Immigration. And then jobs. And then the economy. And then back to health care… rotating around to let his weary crew do what they can to shore things up and keep his ego-boosting initiatives from completely destroying themselves…

  7. Allie the kitten has helped me clean my computer desk. It was quite cluttered and is now mostly cleaned off.
    The floor is now in need of picking up.
    That’s where she put everything that used to be on the desk.

    • I keep my copy of the Chicago Manual, or a similar sized tome, at the end of the desk closest to the cat’s bed. She doesn’t want to try launching off the bed, over the object, and into the unknown. Most cats would probably take it as a challenge instead of an barrier, though.

      • With Annie and Isabeau the clutter kept them moving along, or not trying to use the desk to launch onto the TV.
        The joys of dealing with a very hyper but lovable kitten.

  8. Chicago city plows shove the snow out of the middle of the street, but they don’t plow all the way to the curbs .. they can’t, too many cars parked.

    Any residents who aren’t digging their cars out (because they were at work when it snowed?) have to find a place to park, walk (or cab) home, dig a space for their car out of the compacted, frozen mess – while not getting run over – and then go back for their cars. In the meantime, of course, their spaces can be stolen.

    It used to be common practice for the digger to “mark” their space by putting pieces of furniture or whatever in the space they’d created, but .. because that made the streets look shabby, so that’s now illegal.

    Used to result in a couple shootings and shovel beat-downs a year, not surprising to see things haven’t changed.


  9. I like cats, I really do. But I’m starting to have a lot of sympathy for the idea that they shouldn’t be in the house. The dogs too. We’ve got a “gate” at the bottom of the stairs to keep the dogs from coming upstairs (our house has a walk-out basement). For years our old golden retriever wouldn’t go up the stairs because his knees were bad. This summer, suddenly, he decided that he could get up the stairs after all, which was fine, except that he couldn’t get down them. The second time I had to get my son to carry him down when he’d fallen on the stairs the gate went up. I really dislike gates. I’m too short to step over them and they’re hard to open when your hands are full.

    Anyway, I’m weak and I know it, so I have to constantly reinforce the “no more animals in the future” rule, which is what this comment is. Because knowing me I’ll be all… oh, cute kitten, it will hardly be any problem at all, I loooove kittens… so no, no, no. Clean carpets, Julie. No more cat piss, Julie. No more spray in the stereo speakers, Julie. No more not using the kitchen table because the cats live on it, Julie.

    Wild birds… All future pets must be wild birds.

  10. We’re up to a fish tank, two dachshunds, and six cats now, counting Psychotic Feral Cat that my daughter is fostering and a kitten we’re watching for a couple of days for friends whose children are about to get a wonderful Christmas gift. (No, really, I love kittens.)

    When the dachshunds were young, we put a substantial pet gate in the kitchen in order to confine the girls to a tiled area. We then discovered my little booy is terribly allergic to doggie kisses: He was in the kitchen with Laci slurping his feet, giggling away, when the giggling gradually became a bit strained. Checked on him and found enormous hives all over his feet. They now live in a dog kennel downstairs, where they mostly sleep all day, which seems to be fine with them as long as they have their time with me each day.

    Notwithstanding the freak show that is the Obama administration, I’m having a pretty good holiday season. Same to you and yours.

  11. “Let’s just say that vents on the floor are bad ideas with cats.” Is is also a bad idea with newly potty-trained little girls. Luckily she is much older now. (Not you Steph.)

  12. I am reading the Darwin awards to the hubby– and laughing of course. Hope you stay well…

  13. Christopher M. Chupik

    Well, on Friday I finished my Christmas cards, finished my wrapping and did some writing. And then at bedtime, the suite next to mine caught on fire. So I grabbed my backpack and laptop and jacket and ran out into the smoke-filled hallway and was standing out in the snow with my shell-shocked neighbors. Fortunately nobody was seriously hurt and only one suite was severely damaged, but it was a scary couple of hours.

    • Oh, wow. I’m so glad you’re okay.

      It’s a good reminder, too, that you don’t have to be a paranoid prepper to have an emergency preparedness plan. It doesn’t always have to be an emergency on the scale of Act of God to warrant having a firm plan and a bug-out bag. (And a fire proof safe… which should not be full of tax returns like mine is.)

      • During tornado season, I keep ye laptop, the spare back-up harddrive, my active notes, and critical paperwork in a fast-grab bag, along with heavy work gloves. Siren sounds, bag and I head for the basement. When I was finishing my dissertation, I had a second bag with my dissertation materians, because if they went, I was going with them. (Yeah, I was that frazzled.)

    • To echo and reinforce Synova, quasi-bugout bags are a good idea. Back when I was pregnant and my husband was away at school, I hit on the idea of expanding the standard “winter supplies” in our minivan into a full-on bugout bag.

      Some cookies, nut spreads, granola bars, gram crackers, even some of the ok-with-freezing cheese products (“smoked” cheese balls?) and canned oysters/clams are a major morale boost. Jerky, too. Oooh, or some of those “tuna salad in a pouch” things, they’re nice on crackers.

      Plus a few blankets, a sleeping bag, can opener, if you’ve got a big vehicle one or two of those folding chairs…. finding an ice chest to pack it all in gives you the dual use of being able to keep frozen stuff frozen if you go shopping. Right now ours are in file boxes to allow stacking synergy with the baby supplies.

      • I put together 72 hr grab and go kits: the are 5 gal buckets with single serve canned goods, condiments, sterno and instant coffee, etc,etc. I change out the near-expired stuff each year, and it has the added benefit of making sure that I have lunch materials for January and February.
        I do think that folding chairs in the car is a must. I’m too old to squat and too finicky to sit in the mud.

  14. The thought occurred to me a few days ago that Barack Obama is now acting like a total political whore—and it’s actually a big step forward for him, compared to his previous unwillingness to get his hands dirty with actual compromises. A shame he’s not any better at it, but he’s starting late.

    I’ve been debating whether to go ahead and sign up for a low end insurance policy, or just pay the fine at the end of 2014. But with the way the administration has been thrashing around it’s starting to look as if they won’t actually enforce the mandate—because even if they try they’ll have several million people to collect it from. So I may just take my chances next year.

    • I strongly recommend making your decision on health insurance coverage without regard to Obamacare mandates. Under recent “rulings” by HHS nobody who fails to buy such insurance will be penalized because of the “hardship” provision which has now been interpreted out of all sense of meaning. Even before that, the only way a penalty could be levied against you for not having insurance was if you made the mistake of overpaying your anticipated taxes, thus triggering a refund from which the IRS would withhold the penalty. No refund for overpayment of anticipated taxes, no penalty levied.

      As always, check reliable sources (good luck) for legal opinions, but there has been pretty good coverage (to my ill-informed eyes) at Powerline, (visit linked post for embedded links):
      Reynolds on Obamacare standing
      When the Obama administration unveiled one of its improvisations in Obamacare last week, HHS posted a handy cheat sheet. The cheat sheet summarized regulations promulgated by the Department. In his Forbes column “Government takeover,” Avik Roy posted a link to the regulations (interim final rule) here.

      I found the regulations to be a highly questionable exercise in rule by decree. Cloaked in an air of emergency, they strongly urge the provision of coverage by insurers to qualified individuals without compensation at the risk of being excluded from the Obamacare exchanges next year.

      • The Washington Post’s pet conservative blogger, Jennifer Rubin, draws attention to:

        Obamacare chaos
        By Jennifer Rubin
        December 22 at 12:00 pm

        Conservative healthcare guru Yuval Levin called it “pounding on the panic button”:

        In a CMS notice released around 9 p.m. without fanfare (not the way an organized government announces important policy changes if it wants them to be noticed) the administration said it would allow people whose 2013 insurance plans had been canceled to be exempted from the individual mandate penalty in 2014, and would also allow such people — regardless of their ages — to purchase catastrophic-coverage plans that are otherwise available only to people 30 and under in the individual market under Obamacare.

        It is a stunning move, plainly driven by dread at the impending chaos and dislocation in the individual market in January.

        Read the whole thing.

  15. We had three neutered toms with urine wars when I was young. Nothing rusts a metal filing cabinet like a leaky cat.

    My father’s solution won’t work for you if they’re indoor cats.

    Pop caught the big one in mid-squirt one day and heaved him ungently out the back door and onto the lawn. When the next came along to the same spot to make his mark, Pop was waiting. Out went #2. #3, same deal.

    Before he let the hungry trio in the next day, he sprayed the spot with Lysol and let it drip.

    That almost ended it – two cats got it right off, but the dumbest one took a couple more lessons.

  16. Cats: I’ve had three of them (one deceased earlier this year), and I have HVAC vents on the floor; what I do not have is problems with cats urinating on them. (Noodle Cat disassembling them to see how they work, OTOH; well, he is a 14-lb. part-Siamese….) The fact is: All the “peeing out of the box” is a sign of serious medical problems (either physical or psychological).

    0: The democrats first got hold of Education — and destroyed it. Then they got hold of Welfare — and destroyed it. Now, they have Health — and they have managed to destroy *all* *three* Pillars Of The Nanny-State.

    Everything they touch, they destroy. And “once is tragedy; twice is coincidence; three times is Hostile Action”. Leftists are Traitors — period, end of discussion, next case; they need to be dealt with accordingly.

    • Psychological, possibly, but nothing our vet can figure out, and none of the meds work. I think it has to do with “it’s a Victorian; other animals have marked here” — which is why it’s THAT one room.

  17. My two black cats are excellent about using the litter box, no matter how much I’ve neglected it. The one thing they refuse to learn though is to throw up on the linoleum.

    There is nothing more counter-productive than trying to chase down a cat mid-vomit.

    • Euclid will run from anywhere in the house, to cough up on my office rug!

    • I have a permanent spot in my living room rug from a hurt dog who got queasy from antibiotics. He was not an inside dog, plus was leaking (the bleeding was stopped, but Scarlet Oil will stain most anything) so he was tied in the bathroom doorway with the throw rugs removed and a nice fluffy towel to lay on. Which was what he was doing quite comfortably when I went to bed. Unbeknownst to me, the leash was just long enough that if he strained against it and stretched his neck out he was within vomiting range of the carpet.

  18. Re cat pee, What has worked for me in the past is whipping it out and pissing on the cat while it’s in the act of spraying. Sounds weird, but I swear it works. If they’re too sneaky for you, a bit of your pee on their spot works too. You should be the top of the pecking order in your house unless you’re too pussywhipped!

  19. One of my good friends who has the same disease as I do and has been in a hospital in CA since Dec 1st with a lung infection and a hematoma. It looks like they have decided to take out the lung. The doctors are finally saying that she has had this disease from birth because of the hematoma. If you would send good thoughts her way, it would be much appreciated.

    ACA worries me because the doctors that can work on us (Vasculitis) are in the research hospitals.

  20. Well, our glorious President has had 8′ tapestries made of himself to hang in the US embassy in London. I don’t know what to say. I suppose I can wait for the statues….

  21. Sarah, here’s one thing that might make your day a little brighter. It looks like A Few Good Men has a cameo in the latest Day by Day strip

  22. BTW, for cat messes, I use one of these:
    I don’t waste money on their special soaps though.

  23. Just seeing reports of the awful weather you’re having over there. Hope everyone is safe and you all avoid being frozen/flooded/ or blown away by tornados or gales.

    • The Deep South has entered its severe storm season. I had the distinct displeasure one December of hiding from a tornado in Georgia. I felt betrayed – tornadoes only happen between April and July! Not in the southern states, or so I learned. North America has nothing but weird weather, or so it seems some days.