October 26th, 2014


A Lot of Waiting, but I'm home

Woke up every hour all night long, finally gave up, did my morning routine, finished packing and checked out of the motel 2 hours earlier than planned. Took my time walking to the train station, and of course after the 2 hour wait the train was 20 minutes late. There were a lot of monarch butterflies to watch.

Got to Santa Barbara in plenty of time to make the connection, the Coast Starlight was only a couple of minutes late. Uneventful ride except the obligatory crying baby was three rows up. At least he was only crying, not screaming.

The good news is the windows were clean, the bad news is the glare was awful.

We were on schedule most of the way and would have been 20 minutes early into San Jose, except Union Pacific sidelined us about 15 minutes from the station to push through a LONG train of empty flatbeds. This looks like a loophole, maybe, in the freight company's war on commuter rail. We spent a lot of time going slowly, made me really miss Eurostar.

Getting off the train, rounding a corner toward the station, an older man (maybe 70, 75?) fell. I don't think he tripped on anything, he was out for a minute, not responsive when I asked if he wanted help getting up. He finally nodded, and me on one side, two women on the other got him on his feet. A young man got the man's cane for him and someone who should have helped pick him up handed me the man's satchel. I walked with him halfway to the entrance, by then he seemed fine. I got the impression this has happened before, but not in public.

Another wait for light rail, then the slow ride to half a mile from home, and a moderate paced walk home. It was easier after all the walking I had done this week, but not easy.

Unpacked, discovered that housekeeping had stolen my Bose headphones. I thought I had packed them away when I first got into the room, but apparently they were still in the grocery bag under the luggage stand. First time I've had something stolen that I didn't want stolen.

Uploaded the photos and whipped through them, there are some good ones. The old Sigma lens was not very sharp on the surfing photos, but part of that is 300mm magnifies the mist as well as the surfers.

I'd bought a Nikon lens on Amazon, used, which should be a lot better, and the USPS tracking page said they had tried to deliver it today, and left a notice to pick it up at the PO, but when I looked through the mail, it wasn't there. Went outside to see if maybe I'd dropped it, and saw the notice stuck to the front door. They are supposed to put it in the mailbox. So I'll go pick that up Monday.

While on the train I kept track of the World Series score from time to time. At 4-1 it didn't look good for the home team, but later in the game they just kept scoring and scoring. 11-4. I have no idea how they pulled that out of the hat. I love high scoring games, hate "pitchers' duels".

It has been a week since Domino was de-lifed. I have been on a couple of web sites looking, but I'm not sure I want to adopt another cat so soon. And I'm sure I do. And not. And so on. I'll probably go to the two big shelters tomorrow and look. The adopt-a-pet site is real impressive at first, but there are too many cats there who are not vouched for by a reputable agency. And their sort routine doesn't work because descriptions are often wrong or missing. Got to meet the cat in person anyway.

Plans for tomorrow:
Sleep in
Maybe watch football
Maybe prowl the adoption centers


Catterday a day late

As I was filling out the adoption application, it occurred to me that I adopted Pumpkin and Domino, a year apart, on the same week as this. It really sunk in when the receptionist told me that as a calico, the one I was applying for was a Halloween cat, which got me a discount and a free collar (which I don't intend to use).

When I woke up at 6:15 this morning my first thought was I had slept well, had not woken up in the middle of the night. Nice to be in my own bed, the one which can be mechanically inclined. My next thought was I am having a low blood sugar episode. Sure enough, it was 69. Nice to be home, where there is mint chocolate chip ice cream. Got stabilized, went back to bed, dozed a little but woke for real at 9:30.

Did my morning stuff, got dressed, played on Book of Face, searched on a few of the cat adoption sites. I was all set to go to the Santa Clara animal control center which is near where I work, when one of my theater friends recommended Nine Lives no-kill rescue in Redwood City. Tons of cats on the web site, a bit of a drive but I wanted to support no-kill rescues. They don't open till noon, which worked out fine, I was there at noon, but their clock was 5 minutes slow so I waited a bit in a comfortable chair in the front room.

The place is hard to describe. Along the walls are a grid of single-cat cages, a few with bonded pairs or a litter of kittens. Past those are room-sized cages, two rows three deep. In the first row is a cage of young adults, go through that to another cage with adults and through that to the elderly cats. The second row has FLV+ in one, LK+ in another and "barn cats" in the front one.

Hand sanitizer required while entering or changing cages.

Very nice volunteer who has worked there a long time took me around. She tried hard to find the cat I was looking for, a male Siamese adult, but the ones I liked were bonded pairs, and I can only have one, thanks to the stupid mobile home park rules. Oh yeah, and one FLK positive. Second choice was a male orange tabby, but none of those clicked. I was hoping for one more like Pumpkin, long haired, but these guys were all pretty scruffy. One she dug out of a corner, and he let me hold him, but he was completely passive, not much of a companion.

When I sat down in the young adult cage, a feisty B&W climbed up my jeans and jumped onto my shoulders. This was a signal for three others to climb up on my lap. A bit too energetic for me, and they needed more attention than I can provide during the day.

There was one cat who caught my eye, a huge calico named Juno. Female, in a cage along the wall, curled up in a bed too small for her. The volunteer opened the cage for me, Juno woke up, liked being petted, but when I picked her up she jumped back to her bed. Same with the volunteer. It was clear that Juno was afraid of the cats in the surrounding cages, all of which were in easy swatting distance. What she needs is her own place, with no other cats, lots of room, and no pressure.

Volunteer had a room cleared out and brought a carrier, and we took Juno to what turned out to be an exam/weighing room, poured her out of the carrier, and I was left alone to make friends. Juno was bent on getting off the table and when she did, she climbed under it, but she didn't fit, so she reversed and tried to squeeze under an even lower table. I picked her up and put her back in the carrier. But during all that time she never snapped or hissed or fought. And she is huge but not fat, which I like in a cat, and impeccably clean. Bright white fur with splotches of brown and orange and sepia.

So I filled out the form, which was fairly standard, paid all of $25, picked out a collar, got a discount coupon, a receipt and was told what it said on the web site, that I'd hear from them in about a week. They do some sort of background check, and the vet checks out the cat and it is microchipped. I'm pretty sure she has already been spayed, but that and shots are part of the deal. There is a 2-week return policy.

That all took 2 hours, which gave me time to make a Safeway stop (needed fruit & frozen stuff). Then home, remembered football was on. Caught the play which sealed the Raiders' loss, and then the end of the Colts loss.

Baked some frozen lasagna for dinner, ate that while watching the Saints clobber the Packers, flipping during timeouts to the World Series for just enough to check the score. Top of the 9th I checked more frequently and saw the final out - not a strike-out and you could hear the crowd gasp when the KC batter hit what could have been a base hit, but he was just barely thrown out at 1st.

Apparently pitching a full game shut-out is now a Big Deal. When I was a kid in New York and a real baseball fan (Yankees, of course), I don't remember there being "closers" or more than one pitcher per game unless multiple runs were being scored. It was all about batting. You won by scoring runs, and fielding.

Anyhow, it was nice to see the home team pull another rabbit out.

And in the background I have separated my trip photos by date, and am converting them to JPEG to upload to Flickr.

Also checked my cat stuff, cleaned out the two litterboxes, set the smaller one aside and filled the big one. I thought I had been feeding Domino elderly food, but I had switched to adult (1-10 year old cats) when she started losing too much weight. So I'm good. I had emptied and cleaned the water fountain last weekend.

Vacuumed the house. Watered the lemongrass, roses, and strip garden. Watered the indoor plants.

Plans for tomorrow: