It still delights me how nice the iPad Magic Keyboard feels to type on. So quiet too!

For those who live around me reminiscing about the old times when Nebraska played in the Big 12/Big 8, I’m still much more bitter about Syracuse and UConn no longer playing Georgetown and Villanova in basketball on a yearly basis. That was must see TV, especially in March.

I just got home from work in time to see the Lightning and Blue Jackets head to a fifth overtime. Crazy! 🏒

Watching 4K city walks are still my thing. I’m currently watching one of Brooklyn.

Sources: Power 5 conferences talking about no fall football

From ESPN:

Several sources have indicated to ESPN that Big Ten presidents, following a meeting on Saturday, are ready to pull the plug on its fall sports season, and they wanted to gauge if commissioners and university presidents and chancellors from the other Power 5 conferences – the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC – will fall in line with them.

Sources told ESPN that a vast majority of Big Ten presidents have indicated that they would vote to postpone football season, hopefully to the spring. A Big Ten official confirmed to ESPN that no official vote took place during Saturday’s meeting, but the presidents are set to meet again Sunday night.

I honestly couldn’t see how they would pull this off.

I just noticed Day One will log mindful minutes for you for time you spend writing in the app. Maybe meditation isn’t the thing for you today. Try journaling a little instead.

It’s Been a Week

It’s hard to believe it’s been a week since I gave Remy up. Mornings are still the time that feels the most empty. I miss those morning purrs and snuggles. I miss the overall morning routine we had. It was nice to start the day with a bit of happiness.

I imagine I won’t last long without a pet. There’s been times where my place has been just a little too quiet. It occurred to me yesterday this is the first time I’ve ever had to live totally alone, with no roommates or pets around. It’s certainly different.

I finally got around to cleaning Remy’s litter box and the area around it a couple of days ago. His box was in a closet where the water heater in my place was. For the first time that closet door is shut. It’s weird seeing that space so open.

One last thought. I posted my piece about Remy’s passing to social media. In part, I did this for my own sanity, so that I didn’t have to constantly explain what happened with him. “Here’s the link, now you know”, was my approach. I also did that for the same reason I wrote it, because I couldn’t keep all of that bottled up. What I didn’t really think about was the level of support I received in response. I didn’t realize how much I would need all of that, but it’s really helped me push on. I can’t thank everyone enough for their support. Love to all.

After the rain.

I was just starting to think about getting my walk in and…. thunder.

Currently reading: Let Love Have the Last Word by Common 📚

Finally getting back to this one.

It’s different eating a meal without a cat insistently staring at me while I eat.

I just found out I can upgrade the RAM in my 27” iMac. Good to know. I assumed everything was soldered in. 

I got my walk in this morning. But, other than that, I’m having a very hard time being motivated for much.

On this day in 1993, Robin Ventura made the worst decision of his career, which got him beat up a 46 year old Nolan Ryan. In Texas fashion, Nolan looked like he was roping a calf. Even funnier, Ventura was ejected from the game while Ryan stayed in. ⚾️

Dan Moren of Six Colors provides us with a shortcut which calculates the “feels like” temperature. If you’re a weather nerd (like I am), this is a fun read.

I treated myself to my local soul food spot because I needed it after everything. Pulled pork, mac & cheese, & sweet potatoes.

Rest Well, Remy

This is one of the toughest posts I've ever had to write. On Friday evening, I had to let my buddy Remy go. Over the past couple of weeks, I've chronicled his struggles. Long story short, we found a mass in his chest near his heart, that mass was causing fluid buildup around his lungs affecting his breathing, and in general his time was limited with that mass meaning he would slowly lose his internal bodily functions as his body couldn't fight any more.

Over the past week since Monday, when I mentioned his struggle to pass his bowels, he didn't poop once since then. I could see him become more and more uncomfortable with this as the week progressed. Slowly, he stopped eating which combined with the other issue, prompted me to call the vet on Wednesday. They gave me an appetite stimulator to make him eat and a gel hairball treatment to hopefully help him pass a stool.

The hairball treatment didn't work for him at all. Wednesday night, he took the treatment with no issue, but he fought me over the next two days with it as he would get irritated with me putting it on his paw. He spent his final four days alive without passing a stool and I can only imagine how uncomfortable that made him feel. He spent most of his final 24 hours hovering near the litter box, an indication he wanted to go and knew he needed to, but yet he couldn't.

The appetite stimulator worked the first time around. About two hours into it on Wednesday night, he seemed to spring back to life, became chatty when I mentioned food to him, and ate a decent amount before bedtime. By Thursday evening he had basically stopped eating again and even with another treatment Friday morning he only picked at his food once. The only thing I could give him without fail was a treat, which is how I began giving him his meds.

Thursday night is when things began to seem dire. When I came home from work, he slowly emerged from my bedroom, where he typically hides out in the afternoon. Overall he just seemed off. During the course of the night he became anxious. Wether he was in my lap or in his cat bed by the window, he couldn’t sit still and was constantly adjusting himself. I’m sure his guy had a lot to do with this. Come bedtime, I invited him to join me, but he just laid in his cat bed and stared at me. I finally carried him into bed with me to settle in for the night.

At some point during the night he left the bed and I found him near his litter box. I checked, still nothing in there. I gave him a few rubs on the head and told him things would be ok. Come Friday morning, he was in basically the same spot. It was the first time in a couple weeks he hadn’t woke me up with his ritual of snuggles and purrs. I knew something wasn’t right.

I gave him his meds for the morning camouflaged in a couple treats and hoped he would improve. Throughout the day Friday, I frequently checked on him on the PetCube. It was the first time he didn’t retreat to the bedroom, as he hovered close to the litter box. When I arrived home I could see his breathing was labored. When I tried to comfort him he kept moving stay from me. My boy was obviously hurting.

I called my vet to see if I could get him in that night, but unfortunately they were bombarded with numerous emergencies. I settled for an appointment at 9 AM the following morning. But, as I continued to monitor Remy, it became more and more apparent he needed help now, so I called the emergency pet services here in town. On that call, I knew I had two choices: either try an enema to see if we could clear his system out, or let him go. The enema might have made him feel better, but if his body was indeed shutting down, there was a good chance we would be right back in the same position in a few days and that could get expensive. I told them I’d make a decision when I got there.

I could feel this might be it and began breaking down, so I called my mom to see if she could get us since I didn’t feel safe driving given my state. She agreed. The closer we got to the clinic, the more stressed Remy became. Less than a mile from there, he gave one last howl from his carrier. That was painful to hear. I know my buddy was scared. I think he also knew this was it. It hurt to hear.

Upon arriving at the clinic, they asked me if I wanted to just do the euthanasia or if i wanted them to do an exam first. I opted for the exam because I needed peace of mind to know I was doing the right thing. After the exam, they told me they needed to put him on oxygen just to make him comfortable, but that it was obvious he was laboring bad. I asked them what they thought I should do given what they knew & they basically told me there was little chance he could get better. Surgery wasn’t an option with his mass being next to his heart and that mass was probably the culprit of everything. With that, I agreed to have him put to sleep. I couldn’t let him suffer anymore.

They had me hang out in an exam room while they went to get him. I could hear him meowing angrily as they brought him to the room. They gave me some time with him alone. I gave him a hug and pet him while telling him everything was going to be ok. I promised him no matter what he’s coming home to me (I’m getting his ashes) and that he’ll have a spot next to me by my recliner.

The nurse came back into the room and she explained to me the process. She told me sometimes with larger pets, they’ll dream before passing. She plugged a small tube into an IV in Remy’s right front leg, pushed the liquid from a syringe, and within seconds I saw Remy go from fully stressed to nothing. Just like that he was gone. I instantly began petting him. Occasionally, his body would twitch. It was explained that was his muscles releasing their last burst of energy. My buddy was fighting hard over this past week. They left me with him and I just continued petting and talking to Remy. I told him he no longer has to hurt and he’ll be home with me soon. It was therapeutic to feel his soft fur one last time. Finally, once I knew for sure he had left his body, I knew it was time to go.

That night was the first time in years I didn’t have him to help me go to sleep at night. All the little things about him bounced through my head. As I look back, I know we both gave each other all the love we could. It’s hard to not have that anymore.

Remy was the sweetest, most loving cat I could ask for. He rarely passed up a chance to snuggle and to get pet. We had a ritual of taking mid afternoon naps together in my recliner where he usually had his head on my shoulder. He was basically a teddy bear.

He constantly made me smile. He’d get so excited to lick the sweat off a cold drink I had around. I loved how cute he looked as he begged for what I was eating or as he watched me shave or brush my teeth in the bathroom.

He always greeted me at the door when I came home and many days would walk me to the door as I left for work. He always went to bed with me, typically hopping onto a side table on my side of the bed, then hopping onto the bed and walking across me, before snuggling in next to me. Many nights he purred me to sleep. Those same purrs would wake me up every morning, usually right about 6AM, where I’d give him some snuggles and conversation before getting out of bed to feed him breakfast.

Anytime it was feeding time, we always had the same conversation. It usually went something like this:

Me: Remy, are you hungry?
Remy: excited meow
Me: Remy, do you want some food?
Remy: excited meow
Me: Remy, do you want me to fill your bowl?
Remy: slightly more irritated excited meow
Me: Well, let’s go to the kitchen!
Remy: springs into action and leads me to the kitchen

He always did his little circle dance before getting fed. Every bit of this ritual was cute.

Most of all, he knew when I needed him. There’s one moment in particular I’ll never forget. A few years ago, my girlfriend at the time, Kat, and I had our relationship become a long distance one. After one of her visits I went back into my apartment and sat down on the couch. I remember feeling a bit empty at the time. Remy looked at me with this look of “what’s wrong, man?", as he then sat next to me and let me pet him. His softness and the way he would purr was always therapeutic for me.

There’s so much about him that I’ll remember over time. He was always some kind of influence of every bit of my home life. I’m already missing him and his comfort in so many ways and I’m thankful I got these last ten years with him. He was a much needed source of light for me. He was and still is loved and I know he loved me too.

Rest well, my dear friend. I’ll see you home soon.

Just received my Fracture prints of Remy.

R.I.P. Malik B of The Roots. 🙏🏼

Teacher strikes possible in Arizona, Florida, Texas

Juan Parez Jr., writing for Politico:

Educators are not going to be able to teach kids “if people are scared to death,” Weingarten said Wednesday. “And if people die while they are educating kids, you eviscerate any credibility that you would have going forward about whether or not a school is safe.”

I get the feeling teacher strikes could be possible across the country. Everyone seems to get the vibe sending kids back to packed classrooms, even at half capacity, is a bad idea. Striking might be the best way to keep everyone safe if sending kids back is the route school boards choose to take.

From my understanding, kids where I live haven’t been required to send their Chromebooks back as of yet, so they seem to be equipped to stay home if asked to. I just hope they are. The hurdle to face with that is if jobs are willing to let parents work from home to supervise their children. Given the fact both Google and Apple are keeping their employees at home into next year, you know just two companies building the operating systems of the future, then I know pretty much every other office-based company can do the same.

Celebrating Remy's Gotcha Day

It’s now been ten years since Remy entered my life. I was looking for a cat to call my own after moving into a new place. I initially had my eye on a big grey fluff ball at a local pet store. I told my mom about it and she went to go check it out only to find it had been adopted. She was discussing how I was looking for this cat aloud in the store with her boyfriend at the time, when a lady asked if she was looking for a cat. This lady had found a couple kittens who had survived a house fire and she had been taking care of them since. Unfortunately, one of them didn’t make it long after the fire, so only the one was left, but he seemed to be in good health.

Mom explained it wasn’t her that was looking for a cat, but that it was me instead. Mom called me from the pet store to ask if I wanted to take a look at the cat and I agreed, so a day later we went to the house to check him out.

What I found was this little orange kitten, barely three months old and full of life. The little guy would play with pretty much everything (see above). His name at the time was Sunny and he seemed to take to me right away. I instantly agreed to take him home. I’ll always remember him trying to paw at me through the cat carrier as I drove home with him that day.

I brought him into the house and went straight to my room with him, where I planned on him to stay for the next couple of days so his scent would get on everything and so he would get familiar with mine1. I set him up with a water dish and a food dish and he settled right in.

In many ways, he was your typical kitten. Loved to play at all hours of the day, many times waking me up in the middle of the night. But, the moment I knew I there was no way I’d give him up was about three days into having him when I was laying in bed and he hopped up next to me and curled up underneath my right arm. From that point on, he was a cuddler and he became a source of comfort in the years to follow.

This Gotcha Day is a bit different this time. If you’ve been following this page, you know why. But, I’m not here to focus on the sad news today. I’m here to focus on the joy Remy has brought me over the last decade. I couldn’t ask for a better cat than he has been. He’s been so full of love and I couldn’t help but to love him back.

  1. To this day my bedroom is his safe space. [return]

Remy now has a blog category dedicated all to him now.

I find it just a little bit bothersome the NBA gets to play in a nice bubble at Disney’s Wide World of Sports with a cool arena setup, while the WNBA plays in a modified soundstage in Bradenton.

Whenever I’ve had dialog with my vet, it’s been a lot of telling the receptionist what’s going on and then the doctors get back to me later about what they think is going on and what can be done. The problem I’ve had is those phone calls have always come right before bedtime. Not ideal. This has forced me to go with a strict do not disturb regimen, so I know of nothing going on even while my phone is in my hand.

Shoutout to the Lansing Common for the most honest logo explanation I’ve seen.