misslynx: (Default)
Just found out that registration for the Ride to Conquer Cancer closes tomorrow. I didn't register yet, and right now, with rent due tomorrow and various and sundry bills to deal with, I can't afford the $50 registration fee.

Maybe it's just as well — I'm not entirely sure I could have been fully prepared to ride 200km by June, unless I trained really hard between now and then, and I don't know if I'll have the time to train as hard as I'd need to. Plus, while I'm OK with riding during at least some winter weather, I do have limits, and if I'm trying to prepare by riding really long distances, doing it at -10 in February is not, I have to admit, the most appealing prospect in the world. Not to mention the fact that I'm still trying to get caught up on my gym fees so I don't have that option open to me right now.

I suppose the best thing to do is let it go for now, and concentrated on getting my gym membership paid up so that I can start working out again, ride as much as I comfortably can in the winter and more once it gets warmer, and for this year, aim to do one of the shorter charity rides — I think there are several others that aren't quite as huge as the RTCC. And then for next year, realize ahead of time that registration closes six months before the actual event, and get registered early!
misslynx: (Music - Within Temptation - Be the chang)
Last night, I wrote in an e-mail to my mom:

Why I was having second thoughts about going to the G20 protest today )

It would have been nice to have been wrong about that... :-( *sigh*

I didn't go to the protest. Instead I opted for cycling and cupcakes, which was great fun -- I'd never been on the West Toronto Railpath before, and it's beautiful -- a hidden trail lined with wildflowers, winding its way through what is otherwise mostly an industrial wasteland. Definitely one of they city's hidden gems.

But I did feel a bit like a sellout... In my 20s, I'd never have missed out on an event like this. But I'm not in my 20s any more, and the political landscape now isn't what it was then either. Cops were not nearly as likely to attack nonviolent protesters as they are now, nor were protesters as likely to get violent -- and it only takes a very small handful of people doing that to make things horrible and dangerous for everyone. And of course, the two create a vicious circle -- uber-militant assholes doing stupid things makes the cops more paranoid and more inclined to overreaction, and cops being heavy-handed makes some people who might have stayed peaceful otherwise more inclined to get angry and reckless, and the whole thing can spiral out of control very easily.

And because a lot of the media report mainly on whatever's most dramatic, the thousands of peaceful protesters are completely eclipsed by the relatively small handful of store-smashing yahoos. Most of the discussion I've seen online, apart from that by people who have some contact with activist communities, has talked about what "the protesters" did, as if they were one uniform mass who all think and do exactly the same thing.

But one positive thing I've seen is at least a couple of fairly mainstream journalists have bee trying to draw attention to the fact that most of the protesters were peaceful and that many were attacked with batons, tear gas, rubber bullets, etc. and/or arrested despite that. Despite my general distaste for Twitter, the Twitter feeds of the Toronto Star's Antonia Zerbisias and TVO's Steve Paikin have both highlighted that. Kudos to both of them for having the nerve to talk about the stuff the rest of the mainstream media aren't. Here's a string of posts from Paikin, about the cops attacking a journalist and a group of peaceful protesters:

Cut for length )

More of my thoughts on all this )

I don't even know where I was originally going with this post... I think I'm just having a "Stop the world, I want to get off" sort of day. Good thing I already had a tag made up for that...

I think this is one of those days where I just need to put "See Who I Am" (see this post) on repeat play until I feel like there's hope for the world again. But I'm exhausted and need to sleep, and that song is way too energizing, so I'll settle for making a user icon based on it instead.
misslynx: (Quote - clucking bell)
Note to the Lynxcub:

Yes, the toilet and my office chair are both things that one sits on. Well, theoretically - usually you tend to climb around on the chair like it was a jungle gym. HOWEVER. That is where the commonality really SHOULD end.

But it was sweet of you to offer to help clean up, at least. And yes, I AM going to tell your dates about this when you're 17.

. . .

Note to my readers:

Parenting: it's NOT all sushi and elder gods and Argentinian penguins.

. . .

Hmmm... I think I may have to put that last sentence on a T-shirt. Or an LJ icon, at least. Though for full effect, I really should have gotten a photo.
misslynx: (Default)
Female Genital Mutilation at Cornell University (Warning - REALLY disturbing news story. May be triggering to some people.)

I don't have the words to express my reaction to this. Not only the surgeries themselves, but the follow-up procedures. This guy should seriously be in jail. For anyone who can find words, comment #31 and #41 have contact info for the university, and #48 has a link to the doctor's web site.

Please pass the link on - the more people that know about this, the better the chance of doing something about it.

. . .

And if you need to read something light and non-traumatizing to help you recover from the above story, here, have this: German student attacks Hell's Angels. With a puppy.
misslynx: (Default)
I got a Facebook message yesterday, purportedly from one of my FB friends (albeit one of the really old friends I haven't actually talked to in 20 years or so), saying "[friend's name] liked W0RST THING I HAVE EVER READ! WARNING! on Facebook and suggested you like it too."

I was (a) bored, and (b) mildly curious, so I clicked on the link to see what this thing was. It did indeed go to a page on Facebook (I always make sure any e-mail link is showing the same destination in the status bar when moused over as it appears to go to before clicking it), but the content was seriously disturbing, and not in the way someone might anticipate from the "W0RST THING I HAVE EVER READ" bit.

Maybe I need to mass-mail a Security 101 primer to everyone on FB )
misslynx: (Default)
Update to yesterday's door prize post:

Good: got a phone message from the investigating officer, who had already paid a visit to the guy, and I think actually took him down the station even. Quicker response than I'd expected.

Bad: he said in the message that he'd only be at the station for another hour and a half, after which he would be off for six days, and it was more than an hour and a half later by the time I got the message.

Also bad: the driver denied everything, and the cop apparently couldn't make out the name and number of the witness in his notes, and needed me to supply it again. Except that he's going to be away from work for six days.

Potentially bad: the witness lives up near North Bay, and was only in Toronto for the day. I really hope they're OK with getting just a phone statement from her or something, because I have no idea whether she'd be willing or able to come back to Toronto to ID the guy in person.

Good: I went and got my bike and it was still there, and still had all its parts. And I got a chance to try it out for more than just a couple of blocks, and it still seems to be in more or less rideable condition.

Bad: note the "more or less" in the above statement. It is not exactly undamaged. I was able to ride it all the way home from College & University, but it felt a tad bit wonky, made a variety of odd sounds it didn't used to make, and the rear brake seems kind of messed up (unsurprisingly, as that's the one on the right handlebar, which smacked directly into the car door). Not messed up as in doesn't work - it's more like it works excessively, and drags on the rear wheel a bit even when I'm not applying the brakes at all. Taking it to my local bike repair place tomorrow to get it checked out.

Potentially bad: I should add, taking it to the bike shop if I'm able to get paid by anyone tomorrow, as I am pretty much flat broke. However, one cheque may be in the mail, and another client I e-mailed this morning asking if I could perchance meet up with her to pick up a cheque, so I'm hoping maybe one of those will work out.

Mixed good and bad
: bruising on right shoulder and leg doesn't look too awful today, though everything's still sore.

The shoulder in particular is a whole lot more sore than it looks like it should be for the amount of bruising visible. Possibly I wrenched a muscle or something. I can use my arm fine for undemanding stuff (typing, cooking, eating, etc.), but anything requiring much effort or moving from the shoulder hurts like whoa. And I occasionally get random aches radiating down my whole right arm. Something more than just the bruise and scrape I can see is going on there. And while the right shoulder's the worst, my whole back and both shoulders feel kind of as if I'd been moving furniture all day yesterday or something.

The really deep bruise on my left thigh is Cut for possibly squicky details )

Also bad: have not yet succeeded in getting through to my doctor's office - got home too late yesterday, and stupidly waited until too late in the afternoon today (due to sleeping for a long time and still feeling kind of dopey and tired once I got up), only to discover the office closed earlier than I thought. Will try again tomorrow.

All in all, not feeling overly optimistic any more about anything coming of the attempt to press charges. Between the guy denying it, the cop going away, only having gotten one witness's contact info, and that witness being non-local, I am starting to think the odds of any good resolution to this are not in my favour. :-/ Well, if nothing else, maybe at least the fact that he got dragged down to the cop station and had to answer questions may make Mr. Lexus Guy think twice before doing that sort of thing again...
misslynx: (Quote - good day)
Memo to: the driver of the silver Lexus at Bay and College.

Accidents happen. I get that. Yes, people should really look to see if anything is coming before opening their car door on the traffic-facing side, but sometimes people forget to do that. With unpleasant results for all involved.

But you know, a little bit of courtesy in such situations goes a long way. Such as, say, asking the cyclist who is trying to disentangle herself from her bike and pick herself and it up from the road before getting run over whether she's OK. And providing your contact info like you're supposed to in the event of accidents. Or, just maybe, apologizing. Or expressing any trace of concern whatsoever over anything apart from whether your fucking Lexus got a scratch or dent.

Yes, yes, I'm sure you were in a hurry, and found the whole thing terribly inconvenient. Which is why your sum total response was to glare at me as I was still trying to sit up and figure out whether I'd broken anything and snarl "This is a new car!" as if I'd hit it on purpose just to ruin your day. As opposed to because you flung the door open directly in front of me so that I didn't have a hope in hell of stopping even though I (thankfully) wasn't going that fast. And then, as I was still picking myself up, to jump back in your car and drive off.

News flash: sticking around to handle your part in an accident like a grown-up might have seemed like an intolerable imposition to you, but I think you're going to find the visit you'll soon be receiving from the nice officer who came to take down my information after I reported you a bigger nuisance.

Did you know that failing to remain at the scene of an accident, especially when someone's been injured and/or appears to require assistance, is an offense not just under the Highway Traffic Act, but also the Criminal Code of Canada? And can get you a hefty fine, your driver's license suspended, and even potentially six months in jail? I didn't know that either, but I do now, and you're about to find out. Because thanks to the fact that you pulled this crap in front of several witnesses, I have your license plate number. And the officer said he'd give you a choice between apologizing and offering compensation, or being charged. Unless you're as much of a douchebag to him as you were to me, in which case he'll just go ahead and charge you (well, OK, he didn't use the word "douchebag" as such, but that seemed to be the general drift).

Would it really have been that big a problem to have just taken some kind of responsibility for your actions at the time instead of being a complete dick about it? I would not have reported you if you had, and you wouldn't be looking at a possible license suspension and other unpleasantness. Karma, honey.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to attend to my various scrapes and bruises, retrieve my bike from downtown (since all of this delayed me enough that I had to take a taxi to pick up Aidan), and write a statement. Oh, and call my doctor tomorrow morning to see about getting my (thankfully fairly minor) injuries* documented.

* For the curious: a big scrape over a nasty bruise on my right shin - not sure if that was from the pavement or the door; various smaller bruises above and below it in the same area; a really deep, wickedly painful bruise on upper left thigh which is already turning black and blue with big streaks of dark red in it - I think that was maybe from the corner of the seat? - and another nasty scrape/bruise combo on my right shoulder, which was probably from the door. Also, a bit of neck, shoulder and lower back muscle soreness. Epsom salts bath required tonight, I think. Also, beer.
misslynx: (Default)
Note to self: when exhausted and massively short on sleep due to a brutal work crunch may not be the best of all possible times to keep compulsively reading news coverage about the situation in Haiti. One's usual emotional shock-absorbers are not functioning at full capacity in that state, and everything hits even harder than it ordinarily would, and I am the not the sort of person who can read stuff like that and remain unaffected even at the best of times.

Interesting article in the Toronto Star Underlying racism infects crisis response: study.

Unfortunately, the study's findings pretty accurately describe the mentality of a lot of the commenters on news stories on the Star site and elsewhere, which make me want to set people on fire. More so than I usually do, that is. Maybe one of my new year's resolutions should be stop reading the comment sections on news sites. Nothing good ever comes of doing that. Even when I can bring myself to post comments challenging all the reactionary crap that gets posted there, it feels like trying to stem a tidal wave of shit with a paper fan or something.

. . .

But in the vein of trying to do something constructive about the situation instead of just whimper and rock myself, this is a reminder that I am auctioning off three custom-written stories via the [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti community. One fairy-tale based, one mini-legend like the ones I've done in [livejournal.com profile] thousandcats, and one that's more or less anything goes.

Winning bidder on each one donates the amount of their bid to any recognized charity doing relief work in Haiti, and forwards a copy of the receipt. Only received one bid thus far (on the fairy tale), so I'm hoping to stir up a little more interest, so as to actually generate some useful amount of donations.

Note: if you do decide to bid, make sure you're clicking on the "Reply" link right under my comment with the offer, and not on the "Leave comment" link at the bottom of the comment thread, otherwise your bid will go in as a comment to the entire 3000-comment thread rather than coming to me specifically, and I'll never find it.

. . .

BTW, I'm finding the level of activity in that community to be really inspiring. There are hundreds and hundreds - maybe more like thousands - of things being auctioned, from books and stories to homemade cookies, souvenirs from all the different parts of the world that contributors to it live in (there's a lot of "A Box of [place name]" items that are basically collections of random stuff from the places in question - I was very tempted by the Box of Holland, which included stroopwafels among other things), graphic design and editing services, crocheted Cthulhus, PHP scripts and web hosting.

Yesterday, the moderator posted a request for people to translate the community FAQ & userinfo into other languages, and within just a few hours there were versions of it up in German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, Japanese, Russian and Tagalog. A day later, that's been supplemented with Hebrew, Italian, Catalan, Welsh, Hungarian, Portuguese and Greek, and people are working on Korean and Chinese.

Note to self #2: more time perusing communities where people are coming together to do helpful and positive things, and less time looking at comments on news articles makes for a happier and more productive Lynx, with more faith in humanity.

. . .

In related news, I am delighted to report that I am still, for the moment, the top bidder for the crocheted dinosaur I want to get for Aidan.
misslynx: (Quote - private parts)
Just posted the following update as a reply to [livejournal.com profile] lgbtech's reply to my previous post, and figured it should really be a post of its own:

I went downtown this afternoon and bought a new keyboard (having first ascertained that that "All About Mac" store that just opened up near me is not in fact a Mac dealer, but a Mac service/repair place, which has no replacement keyboards and didn't seem optimistic about the prospects of repairing a liquid-damaged one).

And then discovered, once I got home, that it was displaying certain... weird quirks. Tried switching around which USB port it was plugged into on a friend's advice, but no luck. Did some searching online and discovered that the driver it came with was not compatible with 10.4, and downloaded new driver that was, but that made no difference either.

What is happening is that certain keys do not work properly when shift is held down. Most of them do, but there are some that work with the right shift key, but not with left, or vice-versa, and a few that don't work with either one. And by "don't work", I mean not that they just don't get capitalized, but that nothing happens at all when you hit that key while holding down shift. Not a lower-case letter, nothing. Never encountered that before, or even heard of it. I could understand if it was just that one shift key didn't work, or something like that, but it works with some keys and not others! Specifically:
  • T, Y and the two square/curly bracket keys only work with the right shift key, not the left.
  • The pipe/backslash key and the A, S, D, F, J, K, L, and ; keys (basically the "home keys" in touch typing) only work with the left shift key, not the right.
  • B, N and the slash/question mark key don't work with either shift key.

Can anyone see any logic whatsoever in this? Because I certainly can't...

Needless to say, this is highly annoying. It's not as bad as with the tea-damaged keyboard, because at least with the letters I can use either one shift key, or at worst the caps lock key - the only character I can't access at all is the question mark (I did the copy/paste thing for the one above). I'll return the keyboard to the store tomorrow, but having to go downtown there twice, two days running, when I need to be here working, is not a happy-making thing.

On the bright side, I rode my bike for this errand (well, on the way back I alternated riding and walking for the more uphill parts of the route), so even though I didn't go to the gym today, I did get some exercise. And apparently I will be getting more tomorrow, whether I want it or not.
misslynx: (Quote - clucking bell)
*sigh* Shes a sweet, lovely, affectionate cat, but wow is she ever NOT GRACEFUL. This is not news, but todays act of feline klutzery was really outstanding.

I was sitting at my computer working, with a fresh cup of tea at my side, and saw that Rosalind was about to jump down from the shelves above my desk, which are one of her favourite haunts. So, having previously experienced the perils of jumping klutzkitty + full cup of tea, I quickly grabbed the cup and moved it directly in front of me, holding onto it with both hands so she couldnt knock it over.But apparently, directly in front of me was where she was aiming...

The good news: she didnt knock the cup over.

The bad news: she landed IN THE CUP. Well, at least one and possibly both of her front legs did. With considerable force, due to a whole lot of cat directly behind them. Tea EVERWHERE, plus wet freakedout cat flying out of the mess at warp speed, splattering more tea as she rocketed off to hide under the bed.

Did my best to clean up, and tipped my keyboard upside down on paper towels to drain and (hopefully) recover. After laundry, visit with Aidan, and dinner, took keyboard apart to clean it. Now, keyboard is dry and (relatively) clean, but the following keys dont work:

Hyphen/dash
Left square bracket
Apostrophe/quote (youd probably guessed that one by now)
Arrow keys, except up
The entire bottom row, including the SPACE BAR, except for one of the two command keys.

So how, you may wonder, am I typing this? Answer: I copied a space, and am hitting command + V for paste every time I need a space. Bloody annoying, but it works...(Im just glad one of the two command keys was spared.)

*sigh* I so did NOT need a computer problem while in the midst of a massive work crunch. Was going to go to MEC tomorrow and get fenders put on my bike (since I have been discovering that yes, winter cycling IS possible), but I think that may have to wait. New keyboard somewhat more important, I think.

Seriously, Rosalind is a disgrace to the term catlike reflexes. Lumbering catox is more like it.

Just pretend there are quotes around catlike reflexes and a dash in catox, OK?
misslynx: (Aidan & me - ravine)
So, for some while now there has periodically been a bit of water leaking through my bathroom ceiling, usually when the upstairs neighbours are taking a bath or shower. It was one of those things I kept meaning to tell the landlord about, but not quite getting around to, between work, out of town guests, getting sick, etc. But recently I noticed that a big puddle of water had started to collect in the plastic cover of the fluorescent light fixture (it has one of those big rectangular fluorescent panels on the ceiling like you see in offices). This struck me as a Bad Thing, so I did tell the landlord, on Friday, and he said he would get someone to have a look at it.

However, just over the course of the weekend, it was clearly getting worse, with the plastic cover beginning to warp and bow down in the middle, and an ever-growing puddle of nasty-looking water collecting. More than once I contemplated trying to see if I could tip the water out somehow, but I couldn't think of a way to do it that wouldn't be likely to result in scummy water splashing all over me and the entire bathroom. I also contemplated removing everything from the bathroom that I wouldn't want splattered with scummy water, in case it came down by itself, but it seemed like a lot of work, and I was still low on energy from being sick, so instead I hoped that it would hold up until someone came to fix it.

Judging from the title of this post, you can guess whether that hope was justified.

The sordid details, with bonus Lynxcub cuteness )
misslynx: (Default)
A staff member at a sushi place I've eaten at many times was stabbed to death in the kitchen by one of his co-workers.

Apparently it started out as some kind of minor dispute out in the front of the restaurant, and they took it back into the kitchen - where the one guy stabbed the other.

And I am probably a bad, bad person, because the first thought that went through my head (after the initial "OMG, what happened? At New Generation?!") was "Damn, that's the only sushi place that's open until the wee hours of the morning, and now I'm not going to be able to go there without wondering whether that's actually fish in the sushi, or bits of missing employees."

. . .

In other, unrelated news, still no flu-ish side effects from the H1N1 vaccine, which is a relief. Arm still achy though.

And I really need to stop reading the comments on news stories related to the virus, in the interests of saving what remains of my sanity. mini-rant )
misslynx: (Good Day)
Well, I went up the new post office on Eglinton today (not precisely a new post office, I suppose, but the one to which they relocated all the PO boxes from the Wychwood PO). It's in a tiny, hole-in-the-wall photocopy shop at Bathurst & Eglinton. The ride up wasn't too bad despite being mostly uphill - I think I have [livejournal.com profile] optimystik to thank for that, as hills have been much more manageable since he raised my bike seat and pumped the tires a little fuller.

While waiting, I overheard that the move is actually temporary - they're putting a new post office on St. Clair, though I don't know if it's going to be a new facility in the same location, or a different one. So apparently the relocation is only for 4-6 months or something like that, after which point the boxes will be moved to the new PO on St. Clair, or at least so the staff at the Eglinton post office have been told. So maybe that's not so bad.

However... The really sucky thing about it is that while they supposedly transferred everyone's mail up to the new place, they have no mail on file for me. At all. This despite the fact that two clients have told me they sent me cheques in the past couple of weeks, long enough ago that they should have been there. It was when going to the post office with the expectation of picking up those cheques on Friday that I found out about the move. And now: no mail.

If it was just one cheque that I'd expected that wasn't there, I'd be more inclined to think that maybe it was maybe either delayed, or the client didn't actually send it. But two at once makes me suspicious. Particularly since it's been about two weeks since I last checked my mail there and you'd think there'd at least be some junk mail or a bank statement or something... So I strongly suspect my mail got lost in the shuffle. Grrr.

I need those cheques! It's not like even the two together were for all that much, or would make more than a small dent in my current stack of unpaid bills, but at this point every little bit counts. Now I have to decide whether to wait a little longer and see if they turn up, or just contact the clients, explain the situation, and get them to put stop-payment orders on the original cheques and issue new ones, which I'd really rather not have to do if at all possible. Grrr grrr grrr grrr.

The staff at the new post office, for what it's worth, seemed very nice, and spent quite some time searching everywhere for my mail, not just in the file box where all the mail from Wychwood PO was supposed to be, but in all kinds of other places. But they didn't find anything.

All of this is making me think that maybe, despite the possibility of my PO box moving back down to my neighbourhood in six months or whatever, I might be better off without it, and just have payments sent to my home address. People don't seem as inclined to look askance at a business not having a mailing address listed on their web site or business cards any more, and I'm OK with my clients having my home address.

So, question for the Internet masses: if you were contemplating hiring a web designer, would you (a) notice, and/or (b) care if there was no postal address listed on their web site or business cards?
misslynx: (Aidan & me w/ dandelion)
Just a short update, because I am tired and want to go to bed.
  1. First and most important:

    Happy birthday, Aidan!

    Two years...! Sometimes it seems like you've been in my life a lot longer, and it's hard to imagine the time before, and other times it seems like only yesterday that you were learning to crawl - or just being born. But either way, happy birthday to the boy who is unfailingly the brightest spot in my life.

  2. Sadly, I did not make it out to the Masala! Mehndi! Masti! festival this weekend, mainly because of the incredible weather suckage (rain rain rain rain rain punctuated by thunder and lightning and more rain, mostly). Oh well... Apparently they are going to have a winter version of it as well this year, so I don't have to wait a whole year for the next one.

    And the weekend was not entirely without South Asian influence, because I got Aidan veggie pakoras at Savera (the new Indian restaurant on St. Clair, which is awesome, BTW, and anyone in the area should definitely check it out) for a birthday treat.

  3. Was astonished and somewhat horrified on Friday to find that the post office where I have had my business PO box for the past 12 years is now gone, with no warning. minor venting )
That is all. Sleep now.
misslynx: (Good Day)
Side streets. SideWALK. Not the same thing. )

. . .

Oh, and just to be even-handed about things:

Memo to: drivers )

Memo to: pedestrians )

. . .

Really, I like cycling. Also, walking. Just not some of the things I encounter when doing either of the above.
misslynx: (Cat Attack)
Round 1: Dog vs. Mattress

There is a layer of eggshell foam over my mattress, which makes it a little softer than the somewhat ancient sofabed mattress would otherwise be. Normally this is under the bottom sheet, but when I am doing laundry, it is exposed because the bedding is off.

So tonight I came home from doing laundry and walked into the bedroom to see chunks of foam strewn from one end of the bed to the other, and several large gaping holes near the middle. And Kiska lying next to the carnage looking up all sweet and innocent as if to say "Oh, you're home! How was laundry?" (I tried to photograph the crime scene, but alas, the photos did not turn out. Damn cell phone camera. Someday I will get a real one...)

I had just a moment of wondering what the hell had happened to my bed, before I remembered the times I have seen her circle around several times and paw at her dog bed or my quilt or whatever else was under her in order to arrange it to her liking. And I guess the foam didn't stand up so well to dog pawing... *sigh*

. . .

Round 2: Cat vs. Skin

I haven't posted an update on Rosalind (a.k.a. New Cat) lately, mainly because there's not been anything very dramatic to report. She seems to be settling in nicely, and she and Claribell are, if not precisely getting along, at least fighting less, so I think they're getting used to each other. She is a lovely cat, very affectionate and considerably more kid-friendly than Claribell, who usually hides whenever Aidan comes over. Rosalind not only doesn't hide from him, she'll actually walk right up and headbutt him affectionately or rub against him.

However... She has one major quality that is not happy-making. Or 20, depending on how you look at it. Specifically, 20 razor-sharp implements of death attached to her four paws, and a very severe disinclination to having them clipped. In the whole time she has been here, I have managed to clip one claw, once. And that is not for lack of trying, it's just for lack of succeeding. That cat really puts up a fight if you come anywhere near her with nail clippers, and none of the tactics I have ever used on other recalcitrant cats have had any success with her.

Tonight I tried again, after she drew blood from me unintentionally (well, unintentionally as far as I could tell -- who knows what lurks in the minds of cats?) for about the tenth time. I actually tried the wrapping-her-in-a-towel technique this time, and not only did that not result in being able to clip even one claw -- I also ended up bleeding in about half a dozen places by the end of it. Most of this was not due to her clawing me on purpose (again, as far as I can tell) -- she appears to be a very nonviolent cat. But she gets very wiggly when you try to clip her claws, and flails about all over the place, in the process trying to get purchase on any surface she can in order to get away, and if you happen to be that surface, you suffer the consequences. She does not seem, in general, to have any comprehension of the sharpness of her claws or how much damage they can do to human skin when she flails her paws about or even when she affectionately extends them while being petted, or jumps off your lap, or any of a number of other common everyday things.

I really, really need to figure out some way to clip her claws, but I'm really not sure, short of drugging her or something, how that is ever going to be possible...

. . .

Bonus Round: Cat vs. Cat

Oh, and just in case you think Claribell is innocent due to her not having destroyed my foam mattress cover or injured me (today), she is most assuredly not. While she is attacking Rosalind less often these days, one circumstance that nearly always seems to inspire her to do so is when Rosalind is in the litter box. Now that is just uncalled for. And apart from probably being a violation of the feline equivalent of the Geneva Convention, if such a thing exists (and it really should), this behaviour is also, I think, directly responsible for the occasional piles of poo I have been finding under my bed.

Now, I should really not complain, because better under the bed than on the bed, and poo is a lot easier to clean up than pee, but still...! Claribell really needs to learn some kind of rules of honorable engagement. But since the odds of that are probably very slim, maybe getting a covered box for the bedroom would help some. It would at least limit the possible angles of attack to one.

. . .

I love my pets. I really do. But sometimes I need to work extra hard at reminding myself of that.
misslynx: (little help)
So, spring has sprung and that means cycling again (for those of us not hardcore enough to do it straight through the winter). And I've enjoyed a few rides already, including to my dad's place on Friday, which is a fair bit farther than anything I'd attempted since last fall. However...

Said ride to my dad's on Friday was not an entirely enjoyable experience. For some time now (as in, not just this spring, but last fall as well), my bike's been getting a little wonky when it comes to shifting gears. Sometimes it doesn't shift when I want it to, sometimes it does shift when I don't want it to, and sometimes it seems to be in a different gear than the shifters on the handlebars would seem to indicate. In particular, it seems to like to downshift by itself -- at least, I think that's the term -- with the chain tending to jump periodically down to the next smaller gear on the rear wheel.

And partway to my dad's on Friday, the chain slipped right off, meaning that pedalling suddenly did nothing at all (very glad I was on a street with bike lanes when it happened, and not in the middle of an intersection or something. I made it to the sidewalk, and with a bit of fiddling was able to get the chain back onto the gears, but all the way there it kept sliding down to the smallest one -- I could try and shift to a higher gear, but it wouldn't stay. And by the time I was heading home later, things had progressed to the point where shifting just did absolutely nothing, and the bike was permanently stuck on the lowest gear (well, the lowest on the rear wheel -- it's on the middle gear on the front wheel, and I don't tend to change that one).

At first I thought maybe the chain was too loose, but it doesn't look particularly saggy, so maybe the problem is with the rear derailleur or something? I've been meaning to take a bike maintenance and repair course, but haven't had a chance yet, so my knowledge of these things is pretty minimal, as is my cash on hand right now, so I won't be able to take it to a bike repair place for a while. I tried googling various related terms, but the info I was able to find online mostly seemed to assume a higher degree of bike repair knowledge/experience than I have (e.g. "Check to see if the derailleur looks like it's bent out of shape" -- that would be fine I knew what shape it was supposed to be to start with, but sadly I don't).

So I was wondering, in the meantime, is there anyone on my friends list who might be able to give me some pointers on how to fix this, or better yet, if local, take a look at it and help me get it sorted out? I can't offer to pay anyone yet, but I can offer you (home-cooked) dinner or something... Any takers?

BTW, I apologize if any part of this description doesn't make sense or is using the wrong terms or whatever -- like I said, I'm not very familiar with bike parts and terminology yet.
misslynx: (Default)
She just did it again.

The details )
misslynx: (Default)
Note to self: never post about how unexpectedly smoothly something is going. That's just asking for trouble.

Incident the first )

Incident the second )

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