feren: I AM THE MAN (ashryn-blue-contemplative)
As a follow-up to my previous entry, I have to say I rather enjoyed my Christmas this year. [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon and I drove up to Antioch last night so that we could crash at [livejournal.com profile] roho and [livejournal.com profile] genet's place, which let us be able to see Curmudgeon's niece at 9 this morning without having to get up at 5 o'clock to make the eighty mile trek North. I must say that sometimes it's really quite convenient to have the keys to your best friend's house!

Curmudgeon and I did our gift opening yesterday morning, since neither of us really wanted to wait until we got home tonight. Curmudgeon gave me a number of very sweet, useful and sometimes funny gifts. They included holiday-themed boxers (Popeye with "Nice" on the front, Bluto with "Naughty" on the back), lighters, non-holiday boxers, a pair of flannel shirts, $50 towards some iTunes purchases and a new beard trimmer. Curmudgeon got gifts from me, the cats and Santa -- a new 20" wide-screen flat panel display for her computer (that may need to be exchanged already thanks to a stuck pixel), a book called "The Art of Justice," a brass cat figure that sits atop a flat-panel display, a Garmin Nuvi 350 GPS navigator (we took that with last night just for fun and it does a really incredible job in navigating... though I'm curious why it chose an entirely different route to get us home than the one it took us on to Antioch last night), a pair of decorated ceramic cats, some kitty-themed calendars and a Roomba 4210 Discovery.

Seeing Cassie open her presents was a lot of fun this morning. Curmudgeon's sister-in-law is even more hilarious when she opens packages -- I have some absolutely awesome shots of her gaping in shock and delight as she pulls the final shreds of wrapping from a box. Curmudgeon and I both got very cool gifts from her brother and his family (picture albums of Cassie, a gift certificate to Pier 1, a gift certificate to Menards and some custom-made cards from Cassie) as well as a delicious Christmas dinner of ham, chicken, beef, pasta and pie.

The only downside I can think of for today's events is that we were subjected to one of Cassie's gifts -- a brand-new DVD of High School Musical 2, which Cassie is absolutely smitten by and could watch Again and Again and Again. That film made my brain itch. I much preferred playing with one of Cassie's other presents, UNO Attack! Now that was a game that Curmudgeon, Cassie, Curmudgeon's brother, Curmudgeon's sister-in-law and I all seemed to have a lot of fun with. Oh yeah, I also left one of my new books at Roho and Genet's place. Trust me, though, that doesn't even compare to High School Musical 2.
feren: I AM THE MAN (card)
When I got up this morning I made sure I checked in on [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon, who hasn't been feeling well for the last six days or so. She was feeling worse this morning and asked that I stay home to take care of her. I called in, spoke with my boss and got permission to skip work for the day. It was a good thing I did, because at 2:20 we packed ourselves into the car and drove over to the local immediate care facility. Curmudgeon was running a fever, her blood oxygen was low and her breathing was suffering -- I believe the max she managed on the peak flow meter was 225.

We got out of there at around 3:30, after a breathing treatment and some prescriptions were written. Curmudgeon's feeling better (her peak flow was back up in the mid 300s and blood oxygen was back up to 99) but we're going to have to keep an eye on things for the next few days to make sure the sinus infection doesn't set her back. I'm not yet sure what this means for our Thanksgiving plans, honestly. Traveling back to Kenosha to have dinner with her brother's family may be out of the question. We will have to see.
feren: I AM THE MAN (card)
... and then I pick up the trailer from U-haul -- that is, I will pick it up if they haven't screwed me over by renting it to somebody else like they did the last time, when I danced this dance for [livejournal.com profile] duncandahusky. At eleven o'clock, our friends will show up (my friends H.K. & G.K. as well as [livejournal.com profile] roho and [livejournal.com profile] genet). Once everyone has gathered the moving of [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon from Kenosha to Z'ha'dum commences in earnest despite having been ongoing for the last four months...

The 'mudgeon and I worked through most of today, though there was some downtime after a late lunch. The Expedition was loaded up to the roof and we drove down to Z'ha'dum. Once it was unloaded we drove back to Kenosha. We're down to a few boxes, some furniture and miscellaneous items. Once everyone gets here I think this is going to go pretty quickly. I just hope that the heat stays within something approaching "tolerable" while we work.

A man with a plan, a mechanical band
feren: I AM THE MAN (card)
Today was something of a challenge, as there was a lot of work to be done over at the estate to prep it for sale. And for somebody who hates heights as much as I do? The challenge was elevated ten fold. I probably spent more time on top of a (very tall, shaky) ladder today than I have spent on ladders my entire life until this point. But I can say with all confidence that [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon's brother will have no complaints at all. After over seven hours of work we had every screen scrubbed, every window has been washed inside and out and all the storm windows have had both sides cleaned as well.

After all the time I spent on the ladder I figured Hey, why stop a good thing? So back on the ladder I went to tackle the various house and garage gutters that were sprouting all sorts of greenery. I pulled three heavy garbage bags of rich, black compost out of those gutters. But hey, that chore is done so neither I nor anybody else will have to deal with it later.

I am a tired, sore boy. And tomorrow I commute back to the office for a week that'll be chock-full of stress and lots more work, all so I can give up my Saturday night by pulling an overnighter to upgrade our firewall cluster. Ah well, such is the life of the Chief Bitmover.

And gasoline filled super-soakers
feren: I AM THE MAN (Default)
A long day at the office yesterday netted mixed results but I think we made some progress on one or two important issues. I achieved escape velocity from the office sometime around 1920 hours and made my way up to Kenosha, arriving something like an hour later. Even when I-294 is under construction I can still travel a great distance in reasonable time on it -- so long as I wait until after rush hour has finished.

I was hungry and the hour was late, so I convinced [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon to accompany me on a quick run for some fast food. When we returned from Burger King I handed her the drive-thru bag and asked her to carry it since there was a "heavier bag I forgot in the back of the truck." When I came around the front of the Expedition and she saw the huge bag with "Happy Birthday" written on it she just stared and said "Oh, my."

Before we had our late dinners she unwrapped her gifts. I think I surprised her with the vast range of items I'd managed to fit in there. Everything from ceramic painted cats (Think of the Chicago Cows On Parade art exhibit and you have the sense of how these cats were painted) to a wireless desktop to an iTunes gift card she can use to buy some new music. Perhaps the biggest surprise to Curmudgeon was the bag of Russel Stover sugarless chocolate truffles that I had put in there. She was sure she'd hate them simply on the merits of their being sugarless. None the less, I convinced her to try one and she spent the next five minutes boggling at how delicious it was. Do I know my lady, or what?

In other news this weekend will be spent in the usual way I spend my weekends in Kenosha: helping the Curmudgeon pack for her upcoming move to Z'ha'dum and maybe having dinner or coffee with some local friends -- assuming we don't get roped into putting some final finishing touches on the estate so Curmudgeon's brother can get it on the market. Of course no weekend of productivity like this is complete without a twist. This week's twist is that the last round of antibiotics given to Curmudgeon's primadonna cat (Aptly named "Diva") seem to have had no effect on what has now been diagnosed as a kidney infection. So a new round of meds are being applied and I'm the lucky cat daddy who gets to put them down her throat for the entirety of the weekend (as an amusing sidenote, I think 'mudge is envious because when pill time arrives Diva fights me less and I usually get the pill down her throat the first time, whereas for Curmudgeon there's lots of squirming, biting and several tries are necessary before the meds go down the hatch).

Build the robots
feren: I AM THE MAN (Feren-2003)
Good wishes of birthday cheer go to my [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon, for today she celebrates a circuit of the sun on this little mudball we call home.

Happy birthday, sweets.
feren: I AM THE MAN (ashryn-WTF)
I guess I'm having a streak of luck from Friday the 13th, or something. Or at least that's what some would have you believe. Let's see... last night I tagged those traffic barriers with the Expedition, right? And just a moment ago I gave [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon muscle spasms on her bruised rib cage when she bent over the recliner to see a video that was playing on my laptop.

Delayed bad luck? I'm not allowed to touch anything for the rest of the day.
feren: I AM THE MAN (ashryn-gruntle)
Nothing, except an unending hatred for cellulose insulation and the knowledge that my roof was built using trusses instead of stick framing. Oh, and that I need to go back up there next weekend with some duct tape and tape some venting hoses back together so they actually reach the vents instead of laying open on top of the insulation. And that the attic space above my den is not accessible from the attic space above the house proper, lending further to my belief that this was added on and not part of the original floorplan.

At least I didn't fall through my ceiling. )
You can't always get what you want
feren: I AM THE MAN (card)
I've driven past it perhaps dozens of times in the last five or six years, but I've never stopped there. That was taken care of last night, however, when [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon and I were just out for a drive in the area -- I can now officially (and with great pride) say that I have been to the Mars' Cheese Castle in Kenosha, WI.

I cite random circumstance and a deep-seated fear that I would die before I visited this local landmark as the reasons for attending.
feren: I AM THE MAN (ashryn-lurve)
Before I write anything else I have to say that I'm amazed at the way this morning is starting. As I begin to scribble down these thoughts it is 0840 in the morning and nobody but myself is yet stirring in the house. This is something of a reversal of the usual way things play out when I have guests....

A Holiday in the Panfah's Household, 2006 Edition -- first time family has been here for a holiday, ever. )

With that I think I will close up the MacBook, grab myself a cup of coffee and prepare to get this day going.
feren: I AM THE MAN (Blotch-TooCoolFeren)
Last night I went with my [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon to a place in Milwaukee called "The Rave/Eagles Club." This was a group outing with several of her friends from K-town ([livejournal.com profile] corvar, [livejournal.com profile] ya_wot_evar and [livejournal.com profile] ldychaos) to see the Imogen Heap concert. I've heard bits and pieces of Imogen's music thanks to Curmudgeon's efforts (and, if you watched The Chronicls of Narnia's end credits, you were treated to some of it as well) but I didn't really know any of her songs. I was a bit concerned about this because it seemed as if everyone I was attending the show with knew this gal's disography inside and out. This fear of would later prove to be entirely unfounded.

And this is how my Saturday afternoon went...(very long write-up) )
feren: I AM THE MAN (ashryn-blue-contemplative)
After we made the difficult decision to have the vet put Smudge to sleep, [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon was asked to make several more decisions about what would happen next. Curmudgeon already knew that she wanted to have Smudge cremated and the ashes returned. A very nice urn to hold the ashes was chosen from the assortment we were shown and an ornament found for it, to help make the memorial more unique. Before we left that night we were told the cremation service would send the urn and its contents back to the vet. Once it arrived, the staff at the vet's office would call one or both of us to let us know Smudge was ready. When we asked about the time frame, we were told the wait would be between one and two weeks. That was October 27th. Last night, Curmudgeon came home to find that she had received the voice-mail we have both been expecting and simultaneously dreading: Smudge's ashes and her urn are ready to be picked up.

Because the vet is so much closer to my home than Curmudgeon's (and closer still to my office), I have volunteered to go up to Schaumburg during today's lunch break. I'll bring Smudge's urn back home with me and keep her until Thanksgiving, which is the next time I will be able to see Curmudgeon up in Kenosha.

I teared up and stopped several times while I was writing this, because it reopens all the sadness and hurt. I'm going to hit the "post entry" button in my LJ client, then I'm going to go sit in the living room and hold [livejournal.com profile] ra_kitty in my lap. He's going to be given some very good hugs and petting before I shower and get ready for the day ahead.

Please, celebrate me home
feren: I AM THE MAN (pantherhead)
Friday night seemed to stretch out for a long, long time after I made the last post. Neither [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon nor I were able to get to sleep right away despite having gone to bed... both of us still had a lot more tears over Smudge to let out before exhaustion would finally kick in.

I spent Saturday dealing with my grief the only real way I know how: putting my head down and working myself hard on some physically-intensive task or another. Fortunately (and it seems weird to say that) I had a commitment on the 28th to help [livejournal.com profile] twanfox and [livejournal.com profile] cabbitattack move from their old apartment in Rolling Meadows to a nice shiny new one in Aurora. There's nothing like moving a houshold to provide a physical outlet for grief and anger, let me tell you. I arrived at the Rolling Meadows apartment a little early and Twan hadn't gotten in with the moving truck yet, so I took the time to call my folks and fill them in on what had happened. My mother let me talk her ear off and do a bit more crying before handing me off to my dad, who had run into an old elementary school friend of mine during the week. I hadn't seen or heard about Judd for almost 22 years... and suddenly he's in the same auto parts store as my father. Strange circumstances. Let it never be said that our world is too big for chance occurances of that nature to occur.

We had everything loaded up and got underway for Aurora at around 1318. We got done unloading at the new residence sometime around 1630. I had planned to stay at the new apartment and have some pizza and booze but decided to bid everyone a good night and head home to see how Curmudgeon was doing. In some ways I was glad to be through with the bulk of the moving (Curmudgeon missed me and I was limping rather significantly by the end of the afternoon) but in other ways I would have rather stayed and kept pushing boxes around... I was, and still am, dwelling a great deal on the final minutes of Smudge's life. I suspect this will continue for quite some time because I feel a great deal of guilt and sadness.

I got home by 1715 and immediately took a shower to wash off all the stink from my workout (Nothing like carrying a sleeper sofa while wearing a jacket to work up a sweat), got Curmudgeon out of Z'ha'dum and went for a bite to eat at Preno's, a local Italian Beef and hotdog/burger joint. While I was there work called -- such a surprise -- and once I was assured that I wasn't going to have to deal with more stupidity from the office we drove North. It wasn't long before we were at the Vet's office to pick up Curmudgeon's car (she was in no shape to follow me home Friday night) and then made our way further North to K-town.

Sunday was spent being mostly quiet around the World's Smallest Two-Bedroom Flat. We did some emergency laundry for Curmudgeon (Diva decided to puke on a bed quilt), visited Curmudgeon's brother and neice and then came home.

Sunday was also when I got some very sad news, closely related to the work I was involved in on Saturday.... [livejournal.com profile] twanfox lost his sister Christina to a car accident this weekend. Not only does he have the stress of finishing the move out of his old apartment, he now must endure the trials and grief of losing an immediate family member, so I'll be keeping him and his family in my thoughts as well.
feren: I AM THE MAN (ashryn-blue-contemplative)
My voice post from sometime around 1:50 this morning didn't get transcribed by anybody, so I had to transcribe it. What is wrong with my f-list? Why didn't three dozen people didn't spring to action like a thousand mokeys at a thousand typewriters immediately upon the post's appearance? I want answers!

I am, of course, only joking when I say things like the above. Seriously, if anybody had transcribed a voicepost from 1:50 in the morning I probably would have hit them with a stick while demanding to know what was wrong with them. Unless it was [livejournal.com profile] yotogi, at which point I wouldn't be surprised (save that he seems to have the plague this week).

Shortly after ten last night I drove [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon to the hospital Emergency Room. The breathing problem that had plagued her all day had finally intensified to the point that her inhaler and a Prednisone burst couldn't help, and it was time to upgrade to the Professional Grade type stuff, so when she made that decision I dropped everything and grabbed the keys to the Expedition. We waited an hour and change and were finally admitted (the ER on a Saturday night is an interesting place to be and unless you arrive in a stretcher with lights and sirens on your ambulance, you're going to be put in a queue) and met with Cliff, a fellow from Repiratory Therapy. He confirmed the attending doctor's diagnosis and approved the recommended treatment... so at around 12:30 this morning the Curmudgeon began receiving an hour-long nebulizer treatment. The medicine made her pretty jittery at the end, but for her breathing it seems to have done wonders. That's what matters the most.

We were checked out of the ER sometime around 1:43 this morning (roughly five minutes or so before I made the voice post) and proceeded to hit the local 24-hour pancake house (which I think is now infamous to [livejournal.com profile] donaldson, [livejournal.com profile] joewolfbrother and [livejournal.com profile] brianblackberry for various reasons from our last visit there) to get a bite to eat. Curmudgeon wanted it so she could warm up, get her blood sugar back to something aking to normal and, most of all, to try and make the shaking in her arms and hands from the nebulizer treatment stop. Me, I just wanted something to cut the four cups of coffee I was going to drink. Breakfast was served in short order, we ate our fill and paid the bill before boxing up leftovers and heading back to the world's smallest two-bedroom flat.

So that was my Saturday night. Certainly it was a bit more exciting than I needed it to be but everything worked out and Curmudgeon is going to be okay, so I'm happy.
feren: I AM THE MAN (chilly-smiling-feren)
Curmudgeon, Panther and Weinerdawg
On Saturday night (4/15) [profile] roho, [profile] genet, [personal profile] lady_curmudgeon and I went over to my friends' place. We hung out in their garage, shot pool and had a few drinks. Here we see me with a sleeping weinerdawg (named Fritzie) on my left side and a sleepy Curmudgeon at my right side.
Curmudgeon, Panther and Weinerdawg

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