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Why Does the Shortest Month Seem So Long? [Feb. 18th, 2019|11:59 pm]
So I signed up via Internets for the customer card at Raley's, the ritzy supermarket across the street from the déclassé Save Mart, and took the bus there today to take advantage of the new-member offers of five bucks off of a $25 purchase plus one of their $3.99 reusable jute shopping bags for a dime. I got out of the place for less than $23 with a loaf of bread, two limes, about a pound of asparagus, two pork chops, a hunk of rockfish, a bagel, an avocado, a jar of honey mustard, and a good sized chuck roast, all of which fit neatly into my new jute bag for the ride home on the bus. The fish and meat will provide me with at least six meals, the side dishes and such for which I've already got on hand, so a successful shopping trip, I suppose.

All the rain has been removed from the forecast until a week from Tuesday, when only showers are predicted. The patch on the roof will have to wait a long time to be tested it appears. Unfortunately the nocturnal temperatures are still going to drop into the thirties except for tonight when it will get down to 28. The days will still be in the fifties, so fairly typical valley weather for February, except no fog is predicted. Paradise, on the other hand, is going to be colder, and could have rain and snow showers on Wednesday and showers a couple of days later in the week. I guess I'm lucky not to be up there, aside from the whole all my cats being lost thing, and the whole all of my stuff and personal history being burned thing.

But enough of that. Now that new shelters have been arranged (Fire Cat Farm, a rural property in Butte Valley, very near Butte College, has opened to house rescued animals, an a new base camp for the trappers and trappees has been set up in Paradise itself with room to accommodate several cats at a time) and a couple dozen cats and a handful of dogs have been trapped over the last couple of days. While I think it is unlikely that any of my cats will be found at least there will now be more pictures of newly trapped cats to look at again. The stream had slowed to a trickle, despite there still being upward of a dozen trappers on the ridge, in addition to the volunteers who are feeding and watering hundreds of roaming cats, and maintaining the individual cat shelters that have been placed throughout the town.

The whole situation is still exhausting, though. I doubt I'll be able to concentrate on much of anything else as long as it is going on. That could be months.
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Dance On Air [Feb. 17th, 2019|11:56 pm]
It's very strange walking through this mundane world of suburban houses and shops and parking lots with the feeling that there is nothing but uncertainty here. It all seems so bland on the edge of the abyss. I go to K-mart and buy two more shirts and a lightweight hoodie and a moderately light jacket and carry them home to this strange place past dogs barking at me from behind chain link fences while cars speed by on the street.

Everything is at once commonplace and not quite real. I feel like a cartoon character who has run off a cliff, looks down and realizes he is in midair, but I don't fall, I just keep walking. I know I'm bound to plunge to my death, but it just doesn't matter whether it happens or not. I was never going to catch that roadrunner anyway.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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Drying [Feb. 16th, 2019|11:39 pm]
A roofer came and looked at the roof this afternoon and put a patch on the leaky spot, and left his number to call if it starts leaking again in the next rain. There are supposed to be light showers again tonight, but I doubt they will come, and if they do they wouldn't be sufficient to reopen the leak. The next rain, showers again, isn't due until Wednesday, and then there could be more showers early the following week, but it looks like the serious rain is over for now. It's likely to be along time before the roofer's patch gets tested.

The serious cold is going to hang around for more than a week, though, with some nights getting down into the twenties. Days should all be in the fifties clear into March. It's like it's neither winter nor spring. Maybe it's spinter. Or wring. Some season no decent place would have, as far as I'm concerned, bo it ended up here. Still, I'd be sorry to see it replaced by a warm season before I have a chance to get some lighter weight shirts and a couple of jackets. The one jacket I've picked up since I got here is even heavier than the one I brought down with me.

After the roofer left I was free to go out, so I went to K-mart and bought yet another flannel shirt, since that's all they had on sale, then to Trader Joe's for beer and milk. K-mart did have a decent windbreaker on sale, but not in my size, and it lacked any inside pockets, which I really need, especially now that I have to carry a cellphone around. Aside from that, the store had nothing lighter weight on sale. I'm likely to have to go to the damned mall, or Kohl's, which is near the damned mall, and that neighborhood is not easy to get to.

There were crows hanging around in K-mart's parking lot. I don't recall seeing crows in Chico before now. I used to see them daily on the ridge. I see about as many squirrels here as I did up there, but here they are usually running along Comcast's coaxial cables. But I haven't seen a single acorn woodpecker here, even though Chico has its share of oak trees. Maybe the woodpeckers just like the higher elevation. I miss those little guys and their goodnight squawks. Not anywhere near as much as I miss the cats, of course, and probably not even as much as I miss the quiet, but I do miss them.

But I think I miss my brain most of all. It doesn't seem to want to work anymore. It sits there like a big lump inside my skull doing nothing, unless forgetting can be considered doing something. I was sure there was something else I was going to write about, but it's just vanished. I guess I'll go out in the chill and watch the gibbous, yellow moon from my tiny, walled back yard for a while. I wouldn't be able to see any stars even if that layer of thin clouds wasn't there, but maybe I'll see the blinking lights of an airliner headed for Sacramento. I'll hear trains passing, and maybe I'll hear geese flying over. Geese won't make up for the absence of the acorn woodpeckers, but at least they'll sound like a night in my old back yard.
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Out [Feb. 16th, 2019|12:10 am]
After the landlord's agent came by to inspect the leak in the roof, I had time to go out for the first time since Tuesday, and was glad for the relief from the monotony. I had intended to go to Trader Joe's for more beer, which I don't really need yet, but stopped by the Goodwill store on the way and got hung up looking at the used books. They had a copy of the last volume of the Harry Potter series so I bought it and now have all seven books. That should keep me busy for a while.

It was almost dark by the time I left the store and I was getting hungry so I stopped at Taco Bell and picked up a burrito for dinner, which was a relief from my own cooking (which gives you a clue as to the quality of my cooking skills.) The showers that were predicted for today never arrived, so maybe those predicted for tomorrow will also absent themselves, which means I can go get that unnecessary beer. The store has a couple of odd,inexpensive brands I'd like to try. Maybe they will be crap and maybe they won't, but at least they will be alcoholic, and at least I'll have another reason to go out.

A couple of new cats were sighted today and a couple more were trapped, but again none of them were mine. There were several reunions of cats and dogs wit their owners, though, which is always nice to see, but also some notices that remains of animals had been found, two of them a pair of cute dogs I'd particularly been hoping would be found alive. Those stories always leave me downhearted. There have been way too many of them, and too few of the reunions. I'm glad that the volunteers are still searching, and trapping and feeding, but I'll also be glad when the whole thing is over. It's exhausting to watch it day after day.
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Dismal [Feb. 15th, 2019|12:03 am]
Right now I'm eating ice cream. I've been oddly anxious and sad all day, and it occurred to me that ice cream might counteract that. So far it isn't working. The Internets provided insufficient distraction, too. Not even the unexpected emergence of the sun this afternoon and the unveiling by swift clouds of the pale half moon lifted my mood, nor has the sight of the now-bright moon among thin clouds, seen though the bare branches of an oak on the other side of the trail.

Maybe it's because I haven't been farther from this apartment than the mailbox for the last two days. Maybe it's the accumulated irritations of adjusting to my altered circumstances. Maybe it's the persistent discomfort of the headache stemming from the lack of a neck adjustment for three months. Maybe it's the fact that I haven't had sight or news of my cats in almost 100 days, and the last sight I had was not a happy one.

Whatever the reason it has been a dismal day, and I'm glad it's over. It's midnight. Now to get through the night.
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Smoky and Wet [Feb. 13th, 2019|11:59 pm]
Tonight I got distracted while making dinner by doing too many things at once, and forgot that I had garlic toast under the boiler. It burned, and the oven set off its alarm, and when I opened the oven door the smoke got into the room and set off the apartment's smoke alarm. I had no idea how to turn the thing off, but after getting the burnt toast into the sink and making it wet I opened the front and back doors and turned on the vent fans above the stove and in the bathroom, and after a while the alarms shut up.

However, the oven display is now flashing "F 10" which, when I looked it up online, turns out to be what happens when the oven gets overheated. It has cooled off now, but the display is still flashing, which the web site tells me means that there is something damaged in the mechanism which will have to be fixed before I can use the oven again. I hope it isn't too costly,though the repair process as described by the web site seems rather elaborate. Normally the landlord would be responsible for repairing a failed appliance, but in this case it was clearly the result of my inattention to what I was doing, so I intend to pay whatever the repair cost is. Mechanical devices and I have never gotten along very well.

Other than that unwanted excitement it was a dull day, with rain coming down most of the time. There is also a small leak in the ceiling, which is definitely not my fault. I suspect that the downspouts are clogged, and since the roof is flat the rain pools on it. I don't know if the new landlord had the downspouts checked out in the inspection or not. If it isn't them it might be something more costly.

Anyway as I expected I was stuck here all day, and probably will be again tomorrow. Thunderstorms and strong winds are supposed to begin later tonight and continue tomorrow. Rain is now expected through early Sunday, but the worst of it should be over by tomorrow night. Maybe I'll be able to get out on Friday, which will be only partly rainy. If not I might have to wait until Sunday afternoon, since Saturday the thunderstorms will be back. But tomorrow, rainy indeed. Happy Valentine's Day. We need love because February wants to kill us all.

No new cats resembling mine trapped again today. There have been a few new sightings, but none of them resemble mine either. Three months is along time to go without cats. At least for me.
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Rains [Feb. 12th, 2019|11:59 pm]
There has been moderate rain for the last few hours, but it didn't begin until late afternoon so I was able to make a quick run to Grocery Outlet for a few things, including a few things I hadn't intended to buy. That's usually what happens when I go to a store, which is one of the reasons I don't like to shop. That's going to be a real problem now that I'm within easy walking distance of so many stores. When I went shopping once a week I couldn't buy too many things I hadn't planned on buying, but now I can end up doing that every day that every day. Convenience has its inconveniences.

But maybe not for the next few days. It's going to get windy and rainier tonight, and stay rainy tomorrow, and then on Thursday and Friday we could get thunderstorms, accompanied on Thursday by very strong winds. I might not get back out until Saturday or Sunday, when only showers are predicted. But I'll most likely be buying things I didn't intend to buy again on Monday and Tuesday, when the sun will return. That's if things go according to prediction, of course. Odds of that are not much better than the odds that I'l come back from a store with only things I'd planned to buy.

I've been looking at the Google maps of Chico and am pleased to say that at least one person here has a sense of humor. An apartment complex off of Eaton Road sports the name East of Eaton. I'm going to bet that it was named by a fan of California literature, or at least a fan of James Dean, as I don't think a Christian or observant Jew would be likely to choose that particular name. They would likely fear divine punishment, as it were (it's okay, the lightning isn't due until Thursday, and by then God will have forgotten my horrible pun. He's older than me!)

Once again I made an over-sized dinner, though not quite as extreme as the last two nights. If I keep practicing I might eventually get it right. I'm not expecting to get it right tomorrow, or the next few nights, since I've got quite a bit of stuff I have to use up before it goes bad. But once that's gone it might work out, as long as the rain keeps me from going to the stores and buying still more crap.

Not too many cats were brought in today, due mainly to the shelters still being over capacity, leaving no room for the trappers to take whoever they trap. But several long-unclaimed or recently surrendered cats are being taken to Reno (Reno!) which will free up some space, and one organization is opening a new temporary shelter in Paradise itself, so maybe in a few days the trappers can get to work again. I'll be watching their posts.
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Last Dry Day? [Feb. 12th, 2019|12:00 am]
So I got to the bank this afternoon, and then went to the nearby branch of Raley's, a regional supermarket chain that is based in Sacramento. They are nice stores but tend to be too pricey, though today they did have a few items I wanted at sale prices no worse than the other stores' regular prices, so I splurged. Then I went to Trader Joe's and splurged again. Now I have such luxuries as maple syrup and Tillamook cheese and a huge artichoke. I'm all set for the rainy streak,which could last as long as five days but probably won't.

I dawdled a bit too long in Raley's and ended up missing the bus home even though the bus was a few minutes late, so I ended up waiting at the bus stop for over an hour until the next even later bus came along. Chico is a very dull place to wait for a bus, and a very noisy one, especially on that street, which has surprisingly heavy traffic. Fortunately I now have a cellphone and get Internet on it, so I was able to entertain myself.

Returning from Trader Joe's (a separate trip) I fixed another dinner that turned out to be too large, and ended up napping. Now that I don't have a couch I thought I could avoid those unintentional naps, but i turns out that beds induce naps too, even i your intention is merely to sit down on them for a couple of minutes. Furniture is dastardly stuff. Now it's almost midnight again, and I still haven't done the dinner dishes. The bed is suggesting I don't really have to do them, but I'm refusing to listen. I will wash those dishes and then look at pictures of cats again before I even go close to that bed.
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Dry For Now [Feb. 10th, 2019|11:59 pm]
An unexpected chance to go shopping came today so I went to Safeway and got a number of things. I can almost find my way around that dimly lit place now. I have no idea why it is, but both of the Safeways I've been to in Chico have unusually dim lighting for supermarkets. Given my failing eyesight it is difficult to adjust. I'd prefer to shop at the brighter Save Mart, but Safeway's prices are better. I just wish the place didn't make me feel like ordering a drink and making out with somebody.

After returning to the apartment I considered making a quick run to Trader Joe's for beer, but got hung up on the Internet and before I realized it, it was too dark. Maybe tomorrow, after I finish the banking I absolutely must do. If it turns too late then, I might have chance Tuesday, as rain is not predicted to begin until afternoon. The big rain is supposed to arrive Wednesday. The cold air brought by the polar vortex has been dryer than expected, but warmer air from the Pacific is expected to be wet enough to make for a decent storm.

No news on the black cat resembling Shadow, but a few people think it might be theirs and so the trappers might go for it. They try not to trap cats who aren't pretty close to definitely identified by an owner with housing, as there is nowhere to put the ones who have no home to go to. I'm sure I'll get a PM if it is trapped and turns out not to be any of the other cats.

The dinner I made tonight was too big and I'm feeling loggy. Time to wrap this up.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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Under the Wire? [Feb. 9th, 2019|11:58 pm]
It was supposed to rain today, but we ended up getting only a few sprinkles. It was terribly cold, though— at least for me— so I didn't go out and do anything beyond checking the mailbox. It's going to stay about as cold or colder for the next ten days at least, but I'm going to have to go out at least one of those days, and probably more, though if I can get a ride to go shopping that day won't be so bad.

As is usual here when it gets cold and damp the freeway was very loud today. But then I didn't want to be outdoors in the cold anyway, and the building is fairly well insulated and has double-pane windows, so it wasn't too loud indoors. Noticeable but tolerable, and the furnace drowns it out when it is running. Still it would be nice to have it quiet for a little while again. The weather isn't going to cooperate, though.

Made some cocoa late this afternoon and a couple of slices of cinnamon toast, and it took the edge of of my appetite and I ended up not making any dinner. Now I'm getting hungry. It's too late to be eating a big meal, but I might make a grilled cheese sandwich. My mom would never let me eat cheese close to bedtime. She said it would give me nightmares. I don't think it does. Anyway these days I'm getting weird dreams already, so it probably wouldn't matter. One dream I've had a couple of times involves finding the cats but they are so pissed off that all they do is hiss and growl at me. I can't say I'd blame them. I hiss and growl at myself pretty often.

This afternoon I did see one cat in a Facebook post who looks like Shadow, my indoor black cat. The things that make me think it might be him are the fact that it looks like their is a drip under its right eye, and Shadow had an intermittent problem with that, and the way this cat is holding its tail down in the photo, which was another of Shadow's characteristics. This cat's head looks a bit too big to be Shadow, but that might just be the angle of the one photo they have of it. The cat hasn't been trapped yet so we don't know if it's even male, but I'm following the post to see if more information is posted. It seems quite unlikely that it is him, especially since the location is upwards of four miles from my house, but I'm still going to consider the possibility.

Not quite midnight. Yay.
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