Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Years Eve Plushy

Poor lion kitty Maxx. They shaved off a good bit of his lovely ruff and managed to clip of some of his whiskers at the same time. Oh, the indignity!!

He's happy to be home though. Last night he didn't just sleep with me, he slept on me. Such a funny little guy.

Thank you!!

You guys have overwhelmed us with your generosity. I've taken down the paypal link for now, because Maxx's bill from Thursday is taken care of. He sees the new oncologist on Thursday and if he thinks Maxx can be helped, I'll consider putting it back up.

But for now, thank you so much. Maxx and I never knew we had so many friends. You have my undying gratitude.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Return of the Plush!!

Maxx and I are overwhelmed by everyone's generosity!! Many purrrrrs to all of you.

Friday, December 29, 2006



I hoped I'd never get to this day, but Maxx's overnight trip to the Emergency Room has finally prompted me to put up a PayPal link, especially after so many people asked me to.

Please don't feel obligated, but should you want to help defray some of lion kitty Maxx's vet bills, just click the secure link in the button in the side bar. (update, button in post removed because it wasn't working, sorry.)

Anyone who wants a snail mail address, please email me @ Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive during Maxx's illness. I can never thank you enough.

Woo hooo!!! Maxx is HOME!!!!!!!

I was out putting up flyers on each and every door when I found a woman who said, "Oh! I took him to the emergency clinic last night!"

Fuckers. I called them today and the receptionist said he wasn't there. The woman pre-paid $900.00 to take care of his expenses, which I promptly paid for. (It wasn't $900, but I don't know what the damage is.)

Maxx already wants to go outside. He's never going out AGAIN.

Whew. Thanks again for everyone's good thoughts. I'm just so relieved that he was somewhere safe.

PS. I'd post a pitcher, but it would probably scare everybody. :-)

4:35 Update

Still missing. I've put flyers up and notified as many people as I can to look out for him. I'm going down to the shelter where all strays and lost animals are taken. They couldn't tell me anything over the phone, they said I needed to come down and look for myself.

More later. Thanks for everyone's prayers.

Say a Prayer

Say a prayer that my sweet little Mr. Plushy will come home.

9:45 am Still Missing

The apartment people are putting up flyers and several people have their eye out for him. I'm starting to think something awful happened to him.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


The furbag has gone awol. I haven't seen him since 6:00 pm, and I've searched the neighborhood. I'm so worried, he hasn't had his pain meds since 3:00.

Update: 1:25 am. Still missing. I'm praying that he's in someone's apartment, because I've looked everywhere. But he's hasn't had any of his meds. He needs his pain meds and his piroxicam. I want him to come home.

4:25 am, still not home. I should never have let him out of my sight. Never.

Thursday update

He seems to be feeling a little better today, though he did go our without eating any lunch. And he hasn't come back in yet. Bad kitty!!

We'll see how he does the rest of the day- if he's not eating well he's going back to the vet.

Update: He slipped at at 6:00 pm when I got back from picking up his pain med refill and he hasn't come back. I keep worrying that he's going to go out and not come back. It's so nerve wracking.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Signs of the Apocolypse

Both photos: Jeff Topping, Reuters. The dog's name is Booger, the cat is Kitty and the mice are both "mousie."

Good heavens.

Maxx is eating!!

Small victories.

Himself is snarfing down a nice dinner of Iams Turkey feast, washed down with some cold half and half. I bought him some chicken livers as well.

Update (2:30 am): Had himself a little snacky-snack of beef. I'm really glad he gained that 11 ounces, he can afford a day or two of not eating well.

After Christmas lion kitty

He's getting ready for New Years. I hope you all are off work and enjoying yourselves.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Have yourself a furry little christmas...

Maxx hopes you find many mousies under your tree.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Fuck you Brian Williams

Mr. Williams apparently doesn't care about kitties. He can kiss my centaur ass.

More christmas

AFP/Mehdi Fedouach

From Paris, my favorite city in the world:
Different view : An upside-down Christmas tree made out of lights hangs from one of the decks of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

International Christmas

Reuters/Toby Melville

Everyone knows how I love beautiful photos. This one is from Reuters, near the Eye in London.
An installation of Christmas lights made of recycled plastic containers hangs near the London Eye wheel, in central London December 21, 2006. The commission by British artist David Batchelor will be on display along the South Bank of the River Thames throughout December.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bonus christmas plush

By request.

His Noodly Appendage is everywhere

The things one can find on the intertubes.

Original webpage here: Flying Spaghetti Monster Hat, for those of you who wish to worship his noodliness by knitting your own chapeau.

Duncan has been sighted!!

Freaking blogger. Glad I didn't switch to beta.

Here's his temporary home:


Where's Duncan??

Lion kitty Maxx sez that since you can't hang out and yak at Eschaton, you might as well help him solve the Unified Field Theory problem.

Physics are fun!

(to a cat, anyway)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Migrating my ass

Blogger has a message up.

"We're out of beta!!"

I suggest they go right back in, since they're obviously not ready for prime-time. Atrios' "migration" has turned into one of those all day affairs, something like those herds of bison from the 19th century that would take an entire day to pass a single point. I know he has a big blog, but this is ridiculous.

Not that I'm addicted to his comment section or anything.

No. Not me. I can get along fine.

I'm just twitching cause I'm itchy.


Just give me a little, baby, just a little to get me through the night..... please baby, I'm beggin' ya.

(broken sobbing)

Christmas Plushy-Palooza!!

He still does cute better than any kitty I know.

His noodly appendage!!

My christmas gift from my minions.

I am most pleased.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Wooo hooo!!

What? who is that happy kitty in that photograph? why it's lion kitty Maxx, who had a very good checkup this morning.

He's gained 8 ounces (woo hooo!) and is feeling much better today. Plus we have other excellent news. One of the techs (who loves Maxx dearly, and who among us does not?) interviewed with an oncology practice in Santa Fe last week, and coincidentally, is in the middle of a clinical trial of a new, experimental protocol for oral lesions. Basically it's where they administer chemotherapy directly into the tumor, rather than systemically which is the common method (and has a zero success rate with oral squamous cell carcinomas).

I'm not sure if I can get him into the trial, but I understand they're pretty far down the road- they have results up to a year out, so there may be other oncologists in my state who are exploring this option.

The good news is that except for the carcinoma, he's in pretty good health. It hasn't metastisized or gone into his jaw bones, so if we can find a treatment, he'll be a good candidate. Whatever, it's the first spot of good news I've had yet.

I don't want to get too hopeful yet, but maybe we'll get a Christmas miracle after all. If this is a result of the crazy fundie lady praying for Maxx, I'll have to kiss her if I ever see her again.

Tuesday morning update

Lion kitty Maxx had a really good night last night, complete with lots of prowling and late night snacky-snacking. He's wondering why his carrier is out though.

Off to the vet for a checkup shortly, and to get a refill of his pain medication.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday update

I've had several people write to me or comment that Maxx looks pretty good. Well, the truth of the matter is that he doesn't look so great these days, I've been putting up old pictures of him, for two reasons. One, and it may sound silly, but I feel like I want to protect his privacy somewhat, and two, I don't want to upset people.

We has something of a tough weekend. On Saturday evening, I was sitting on the living room floor, wrapping xmas presents and watching a truly horrid zombie movie on Sci-fi channel, when I heard Maxx come in from his prowl. (jingle jingle jingle) He went into the kitchen, had a snack (more jingling), then he came into the living room. I looked up and there he was, dripping blood out of his mouth. He looked like he'd been in a zombie movie.

I'm pretty sure that he accidentally bit into his tumor and made himself bleed (the vet thinks so too), but it was a scary sight. Anyway, he's okay, but I've been a nervous wreck, worry about how much pain he's enduring.

He goes in tomorrow for a checkup. He's still eating well and still cuddly, but his prowls have been shorter. Poor little buddy.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Cloned kitty babies

AP/Larry Wadsworth

These little cuties were born in September to the world's first cloned cat. Photographed at Texas A&M on Wednesday, Dec. 13th.

Watertiger's pipple

AP/Vadim Ghirda

Oh my, this tiger looks like he'd like to eat someone. He lives in the zoo in Bucharest.

Friday lion kitty Maxx

Maxx seems to be feeling a little better this morning. He's back to sleeping in the closet (just right inside the door, not really hiding or anything), but he did come out this morning to have some breakfast and to hang out with me in the bathroom while I got ready for work.

When I left for work he was snoozing on his back, legs in the air, stoned.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Happy Hannukah

A very happy Hannukah to watertiger, Ex-senator Macaca and all our other jewish friends.

Lion kitty maxx

Last night was not so great for the plushter, but this morning he woke up and was grooming his glorious fur coat. He also had cleaned all three of his plates overnight. I'm hoping he'll be feeling better by the time I get home this evening.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Your daily Plush

Lion kitty Maxx is very cuddly these days. Must be the drugs. Little tramp.

Obama? Osama? just a little joke- joke

Josh at TalkingPointsMemo notes that Jeff Greenfield says that his little monologue about Obama's sartorial preferences being reminiscent of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was just a little joke and that we bloggers are just too sensitive!!

Sorry. I'm not buying it. I've been watching the Washington Press corps go off the deep end on nonsense for the past 8 years. At this point I know way more about what labels Nancy Pelosi wears than I'd like to.

When the press starts making the same comments about republicans, Jeff will be off the hook. Irony may be dad, fuckers, but the cocktail weinie eaters of the world need a serious attitude adjustment.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mr. Plushy!!

Here he is in happier days, before he began to look like he has a permanent case of the mumps. He's still eating well - yesterday he polished off 4 packages of Whiskas and a can of Fancy Feast White Meat Chicken Florentine. Ooo la la!!

Foreign Service

I'll admit that I'm a cynic, but I see no good coming of this: Foreign Service Hiring Gets A Re-Exam
For generations, the United States has selected its diplomats through a two-stage test seen as a model of merit-based rigor. Pass hundreds of questions in a dozen subject areas and a day-long oral grilling by Foreign Service officers, and join the ranks. Fail, and find a different line of work.

No more. In a proposed overhaul of its hiring process slated for next year and to be announced to employees in coming days, the State Department would weigh resumes, references and intangibles such as "team-building skills" in choosing who represents the United States abroad, according to three people involved in the process. The written test would survive, but in a shortened form that would not be treated as the key first hurdle it has been for more than 70 years.


The new approach would cut the hiring process roughly in half, to about six months, to better compete with companies that can offer promising candidates a job on the spot. The number of applicants is expected to decline, but to attract a greater range of experience and skills.

McKinsey acknowledged that the current hiring process is a proven predictor of candidate success. And for Foreign Service officers, the written test is a rite of passage, and source of pride. (my emphasis added)

"The sense that everybody passed this exam is important," said Richard C. Holbrooke, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who brokered the Dayton peace accords, which ended the Bosnian war in 1995. Holbrooke entered the Foreign Service fresh out of Brown University, in 1962.

Holbrooke recalled that in addressing his Foreign Service class, then-Secretary of State Dean Rusk "made a big point of telling us that we had come in on our merit, and neither he nor anyone else could influence the process."

Set against that backdrop, "this looks like a lowering of the standards for entry . . . at a time when their focus ought to be on training diplomats for the real challenges of the 21st century," Holbrooke said.

The Foreign Service has always been the place where you actually did find the best and the brightest- the exam is a bitch, and has always been useful in weeding out the light weights.

But no more. My guess in that Condi and Karen Hughes took a look around the State Department and said, "Oh my!! there just aren't enough of our kind around here. What to do?" Gee, I guess making entrance more dependent on "resumes" and "experience" and "team building skills" will make it easier for wingnuts and other assorted idiots to apply. Trust the bushies to take something that works and break it.

Just one more way the Bush administration is fucking up the country. This issue doesn't get much attention, but the damage that Bush and Co. have done to the professional government services will cause damage we'll be paying for for a generation.


Meanwhile, back in hell

AP/Karim Kadim

While our talking heads natter on, Iraq continues to be hell on earth for Iraq's citizens. Truck Bombing Kills at Least 56 in Baghdad
BAGHDAD, Dec. 12 — At least 56 people, most of them Shiite laborers looking for work, were killed today when a pickup truck packed with explosives was detonated in a crowded square in the city’s center this morning, Iraqi officials and witnesses said. At least 220 more were wounded.

Also today, a bomb was discovered at the Golden Shrine in Samarra, a holy site for Shiites, the American military reported. A large bomb that was detonated there in February by Al Qaeda severely damaged the shrine and set off waves of sectarian killings and reprisals across the country.

The bomb found today by the Iraqi police went off while it was being removed, causing minor damage to a doorway but no injuries, the military said.


In recent weeks, American military officials have described the battle for control of Baghdad as a steady stream of individual killings of Sunnis carried out by Shiite death squads, punctuated by bombings and larger attacks carried out by Sunni insurgents or Al Qaeda members against Shiites.

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite, denounced the blast as the work of Sunni extremists and “their Saddamist allies.” The speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Mahmud Mashhadani, a Sunni, also condemned the attack, and called on all armed groups within the country to observe a two-month truce.


The acting director of the hospital, Dr. Flayeh Hassan, said that 53 survivors and 43 dead bodies had been brought to the emergency room there, an influx that presented a challenge to an already struggling institution.

“We suffer a lot because of lack of medical appliances as well as medicine,” Dr. Hassan said. “We suffer from lack of sufficient number of staff to take care of the cases admitted every day. Most of them have left the country.

“We didn’t get our salaries yet, and also the amount which we are supposed to receive from the ministry to enable us to buy supplies from the local market, such as beds and other necessities, hasn’t been received yet.”

Also today, the A.P. announced that one of its cameramen, Aswan Ahmed Luftallah, was shot by insurgents while covering clashes in the northern city of Mosul. He is the third employee of the news agency to be killed in Iraq.

A tally kept by the Committee to Protect Journalists shows that 89 journalists and 37 media support workers had been killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, prior to Mr. Luftallah’s death, the news agency said.

I don't know what needs to happen there. We seem powerless to stop the violence and either unable, or unwilling to protect the populace. In truth, this invasion has completely wrecked the country, and there are no good options for fixing the situation. Iraqis are fleeing the country at the rate of 1,000 per day, an astonishing number. Those too poor or unable to leave are dying at a rate of 3,000 per month. That we know of. The death rate could be double that for all we know.

It doesn't help that the administration is more worried about covering their asses than they are about fixing things. At this point I think the only question left is, do you want your bloodbath now? or later?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Monday plushy

This photo is an old one- but Maxx is fine- he had a better day today. I have a cold again, though I'm sure I'll live.

Space, bitch!!

The Pismis 24 star cluster sits within the emission nebula NGC 6357 seen here in an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: NASA/ESA/Jesús Maíz Apellániz/Instituto de astrofísica de Andalucía, Spain.

Simply gorgeous. Looking at images from Hubble always lifts my spirits.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Damn you Eli!!

Eli tagged me with a book meme. Bastard.

1. Grab the book closest to you.
2. Open to page 123, go down to the fifth sentence.
3. Post the text of next 3 sentences on your blog.
4. Name of the book and the author.
5. Tag three people.

So here we go:

For lack of anything else to grip, Fiddler snagged the gelding's ears and pulled hard, backing the beast away even as it prepard to stomp on the guard's huddled form. Hiding his shock behind an even fiercer frown, the sapper unleashed a stream of Gral curses at the two remaining men, who had both backed frantically clear before lowering their pikes. "Foul snot of rabid dogs! anal crust of dysenteried goats!"

I'll have to think of some folks to tag in the morning, since I have a terrible headache.

Update: Eli points out that I'm supposed to name the book: Deadhouse Gates, Steven Erikson, 2000 (american edition 2005).

I tag Hecate, Watertiger, and Phila at Bouphonia.

Ethnic Cleansing

Silly me, but I thought this was the sort of thing we were in Iraq to prevent? Shiites Rout Sunni Families in Mixed Area of Baghdad
BAGHDAD, Dec. 9 — Bands of armed Shiite militiamen stormed through a neighborhood in north-central Baghdad on Saturday, driving hundreds of Sunni Arabs from their homes in what a Sunni colonel in the Iraqi Army described as one of the most flagrant episodes of sectarian warfare yet unleashed in the capital.

The officer, Lt. Col. Abdullah Ramadan al-Jabouri, said that more than 100 Sunni families, many with very young children, had left the Hurriya neighborhood aboard a convoy of trucks and cars under cover of the nightly curfew. Government officials tried to urge the families to return by promising army protection, but could not persuade them.


The role of American troops in the turmoil was unclear. The Sunni cleric, Sayed Muhammad, said appeals for assistance from the First Cavalry Division, its headquarters about three miles southwest of Hurriya, had gone unanswered. But Colonel Jabouri said Iraqi commanders had told the Americans there was no need for their help. A First Cavalry Division spokesman said American advisers with Iraqi troops in Hurriya had reported only one instance of sectarian trouble, when Iraqi troops assisted a Shiite family under threat from Sunnis.(My emphasis added.)

I'm not sure what's going on here- are we ignoring the violence that's happening? Are Iraqi commanders on the ground asking for help but the Shiite commanders from the top not passing the appeals on?

Whatever the answer is, we're not stopping anything. Everyday car bombs go off, more soldiers and civilians die, and our wise men natter on about the politics of the whole thing. It's appalling.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday kitty cat blogging

Lion kitty Maxx always loves Fridays because that means his centaur is home for the weekend.

Happy weekend to all of you as well.

Gay Penguins!

Maria Stenzel/National Geographic

This amazing photograph is the picture of the month for National Geographic:
Chinstrap penguins waddle atop blue icebergs that—along with an unforgiving sea—guard the South Sandwich Islands.

And no, they aren't actually gay penguins. Not that I know of, anyhoo.

Feed Me Four Legs!!

I have excellent news. In case the sun gets tired of eating wingnuts, a black hole has volunteered to gobble up the excess.

Artist's conception of a black hole eating a star. From our friends at

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Mars, bitch!

Taken in 2005 by the Hubble Space Telescope. I just like the photo.

Mr. Plushy

Not such a great morning for Mr. Plushy, though he did perk up after getting his pain meds. When I left for work, he was hanging out on the sofa with his mousie.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wednesday plushyness

All tuckered out.

Fucking whiners

It appears republican house members have got their panties in a twist over democratic plans to make congressmen actually earn their paychecks. Culture Shock on Capitol Hill: House to Work 5 Days a Week. A few of the choice comments:
"Keeping us up here eats away at families," said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who typically flies home on Thursdays and returns to Washington on Tuesdays. "Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families -- that's what this says."

Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), who had intended to retire this year, only to be persuaded to run again, wondered whether the new schedule was more than symbolic. "If we're doing something truly productive, that's one thing," he said. "If it's smoke-and-mirrors hoopla, that's another."

and from the Boner himself, a demonstration of the rethug committment to public service:
House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), one of the architects of the lighter workweek, put the best Republican face on Hoyer's new schedule.

"They've got a lot more freshmen then we do," he said of the Democrats. "That schedule will make it incredibly difficult for those freshmen to establish themselves in their districts. So we're all for it."

Earth to Boner, the reason the dems have all those new freshmen is because your party is full of lazy ass fuckups.

So boo fucking hoo. For $150,000 a year, I expect my representatives to actually work. If being a congresscritter interferes with your fucking extracurricular activities, then resign your seat.

I'm sure the American people can find someone who actually cares about serving their country.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More plush

Looking for his mousie, which had the bad form to fall off the sofa. Bad mousie!


AFP/Don Emmert

I wish it would snow here- it's been chilly, but tomorrow it will be back to 70 degrees. Ick.


Tuesday afternoon fix

"Love to eat them mousies.... little mousies what I love to eat.... Bite they little heads off.... Nibble on theys tiny feet!"

Monday, December 04, 2006

Farewell, Mustache of Doom

Bolton is gone, but politics as usual continues. From the WAPO, US Ambassador Bolton Won't Stay:
As Bolton's resignation was announced, the White House deliberated on a new nominee, with attention focusing on Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. The White House also has a crop of Republican lawmakers who lost reelection to consider. A number of senior ambassadors from around the world have expressed interest, but administration officials said Bolton's successor will be a political nominee. (my emphasis added)

Of course. Experienced diplomats would like to have the job, but Bush will insist on a political hack. Or try to, anyway.

What a dick.

Monday plushy fix

We're all fine here- Mr. Plushy is no longer sleeping in the closet, he's still eating well and playing with his toys.

Busy day for me, visit some of the fine bloggers on the blogroll.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Double shot Friday

Lion kitty Maxx was just a little bit high on catnip here.

Worser and worser

AP/Adam Hadei

The Washington Post has the details on the latest stupidity coming out of the Bush government, U.S. Considers Ending Outreach to Insurgents.
The Bush administration is deliberating whether to abandon U.S. reconciliation efforts with Sunni insurgents and instead give priority to Shiites and Kurds, who won elections and now dominate the government, according to U.S. officials.

The proposal, put forward by the State Department as part of a crash White House review of Iraq policy, follows an assessment that the ambitious U.S. outreach to Sunni dissidents has failed.


Some insiders call the proposal the "80 percent" solution, a term that makes other parties to the White House policy review cringe. Sunni Arabs make up about 20 percent of Iraq's 26 million people.

Until now, the thrust of U.S. policy has been to build a unified government and society out of Iraq's three fractious communities. U.S. officials say they would not be abandoning this goal but would instead leave leadership of the thorny task of reconciliation to the Iraqis. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the deliberations.

Let's call this what it is. We're going to take sides, and we're going to side with the group that has already fielded death squads and is actively engaged in ethnic cleansing. As Kevin Drum notes:
The alternative being mooted here would put us directly on the Shiite side, and we'd be viewed as actively cooperating with a massacre of the Sunni minority no matter how hard we protested otherwise. It's hard to imagine a more disastrous end to a disastrous war.

For that reason, I suspect this proposal will be adopted.

What a clusterfuck. Let me just add that bullshit ideas like these are a direct result of bushco's purging of the professional ranks at State with their ideologically correct stooges. The entire world, not to mention those out of luck 20 percenter Sunnis, will be paying for Bush's policies for at least a generation.

The photo, BTW, is of some of those anonymous bodies found every morning in and around Baghdad, full of bullet holes and bearing signs of torture. We can expect to see a lot more of this.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

He gets prezzies!!

Lucky lion kitty Maxx!! His auntie Buckeye, dealer of rare coins, sent him a care package of delightful catnip toys. He partied all evening with them.

He sends many purrrrrs and slobbery kisses her way. And a big *MWAH* from me as well.