Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beware the cats

I said a long, long time ago, that if cats had thumbs, they would rule the world. This theme has been expanded upon by Bertrum Thumbcat, whose ponderings and plots can be followed on Facebook.

I have often accused our cat Booboo of trying to kill me, especially by tripping me, sometimes at the top of the basement stairs. Although this is simply proof that Booboo is not entirely there, or possibly not thinking things through, as I buy the cat food. So that is obviously not in his best interests.

I may have proof, finally, of catty plotting.

Yesterday I was trying to watch a video online. It was slow loading - watch a minute or two, then pause it to let it load. It took 3 1/2 hours to watch 36 minutes last night and I finally went to bed, leaving the screen up so the video could keep loading (which it did, just fine).

But this morning, the image on the monitor was completely upside-down. The cursor worked completely backward, in line with the upside-down image. I was able to Google monitor image upside down and found instructions to turn the image back the right way. The keyboard combination is Ctrl-Alt-Up arrow.

Now, it took me both hands to fix this. So for a cat to do this would be even more difficult, which leads me to believe that it's a deliberate act. I just can't decide if it was so the cat can watch stuff from a position on top of the monitor, or just designed to make me crazy.

Or, for all I know, both. Because there's nothing like killing two birds with one stone, right?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Legally an adult

But not quite a grownup.

Amanda's birthday was today. She and I went out to Fazoli's for a late lunch, stopped by my mom's and did a (very) little shopping for Amanda. She and I were both tired, so we went home. I took a nap before taking Cayla to church, but Amanda wouldn't go.

We also stopped at Kent's before we went shopping. His dad had stopped by and took him out to eat, and gave him an older laptop he had that he didn't need any more. Unfortunately, he can't remember the password, so Kent won't be using it right away. And Kent said his dad told him to tell Amanda happy birthday from him.

I did some research on the Carr family and Thomas Nicholson, the Gowrie town marshal who was shot to death on July 11, 1908, by Wilbur Carr. Wilbur's dad was Ira, the younger brother of Lydia Carr Caylor Burrell Baxter, my great-great-grandmother, which makes Wilbur my first cousin three times removed, I think.

I think I discovered an error in the 1900 census. It lists Thomas Nicholson as being 36, married 14 years, but with a daughter of age 21. The daughter is listed between the 12-year-old son and the 10-year-old daughter, and the third digit in her birth year is messed up. I think it's supposed to be 1888, not 1878. I think the census taker wrote down the birth years and did the math later, and couldn't read his own handwriting or something. In the first article about the shooting, it says that Nicholson had three children graduate from the school at Gowrie that spring. If the daughter was 11 in 1900, that would be the right age, between two siblings also graduating. There were no other children listed as being close enough in age.

I've got loads more to type about the murder, but I also have the daily stuff to do on In Old Fort Dodge. I think I'll do that and then play a while before I go to bed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An interesting day

Kent was called into jury selection today, so he needed a ride to town. His friend Chad needed to go grocery shopping, as well, so I combined those trips. Dropped Kent off just after 9 a.m., put gas in the car ($3.57/gal at Walmart, but 10 cents off/gallon because I used a Walmart gift card), took Chad to Fareway, did a little shopping and went out to the car to wait for Chad.

While I was waiting for Chad, I wrote some research questions in a notebook about a relative who is a big black sheep in our family. Wilbur Carr, 23, shot the Gowrie, Iowa, town marshal to death in July 1908. Wilbur's father was Ira S. Carr Sr., and Ira's sister was Lydia Carr Caylor Burrell Baxter, my great-great-grandmother. Which makes Wilbur my first cousin three times removed, if I have figured it correctly.

So, one of my questions is what is Wilbur's actual name? I think that in census records he's listed as Wilbur. But most of The Messenger articles about the crime and the aftermath refer to him as William. So I headed back to the courthouse to look up Wilbur's birth record to see if I could find his real name.

As I pulled into a parking spot in front of the courthouse, Kent hollered "hey" at me. He was just leaving and ready to go home. But I made him wait while I went up to the recorder's office and did my lookups. We went to Walmart, where I picked up some items for Mom, and discovered that gas had gone up 11 cents since I was there about 2 hours before. ($3.68 now!)

As it turns out:
  • the person who wrote most of the entries in this birth registry had really bad handwriting
  • hardly anyone listed a birth name when they turned in the records - probably because it was the medical attendant/doctor who turned in the records.

So now I'm home, ready to work on stuff, and with lots of typing to do because that news article appeared on July 12 and I've got to post it today. But I'm going to take a nap first because the Tuesday copy editor has the day off so they are having a reporter copy edit - which isn't bad, unless he needs to go cover stuff like a fire or bad weather, as happened last week. Plus the paginator was indisposed yesterday, so I offered if circumstances require it (if paginator is still indisposed and reporter needs to go cover stuff) I can come in for the evening. So in case that happens, I need to take my nap now.

And since it's an on-again, off-again rainy day, it's not too sunny and that should help.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Funny kitties

First a video:
Poor kitty. No nap for you!

Now to our kitties.

We have a bookcase (media tower?) that is about 2 feet wide and about 7 feet tall. I firmly believe that bookcases should be packed with books. The books should be stacked on top of each other, and I've been known to have two rows of books on one shelf, along with the stacked books on top of each row.

However. I'm still not organized from when we moved in (September 2008), so many of my books are still in boxes. This bookcase/media tower has a few books, assorted stuff and software cases. But on the top shelf right now is a rock bookend and a cat. Chicken, to be precise - Amanda's cat. Chicken is taking a nap on the top shelf. She likes it up there.

She can jump from the computer monitor (the desk is in front and slight to the left of the bookcase). Booboo can jump all the way to the top of the bookcase, and he likes to hang out there.

Chicken likes the freestanding pantry we have, but she can't jump up there on her own. Sometimes she stands on the kitchen chair next to the pantry and meows at me. I ask her, "do you want up?" Then I pick her up and toss her on top. She rolls around on there and is happy. Until she falls off, which has happened a couple of time.

Olivia has been spending time on a shelf that overlooks the sink and kitchen window. She has taken naps up there. As far as I know, she hasn't fallen into the dish drainer. Yet. But right now her favorite spot is an box that used to hold ramen noodles, but currently has nectarines in need of ripening. She's spent so much time there that a little while ago, when she was sitting on the computer desk, I could smell nectarines.

Olivia is Cayla's kitty, but she seems to think I'm her human instead. She likes to nap on my computer desk, obstructing access to the keyboard (Booboo likes this, as well). She also likes my chest, which (especially if I lean back in the chair) offers a little napping shelf for her. And at night she comes racing in and jumps on me, starts kneading and purring and eventually lies down to sleep on my side. Directly on me, that is, since I sleep on my side. I just have to be sure to have blankets pulled up so she's kneading the blankets and not my flesh, since our cats are not declawed.

Booboo's little escapade today: When I brought groceries home, I put them on the top step in the breezeway and asked Amanda for the key to the garage so I could put some things in the freezer there. Booboo escaped and ran into the garage, hiding in the stuff in the back. I put the ice cream and other frozen items in the freezer, locked the garage and came inside. I waited about 10 minutes, then opened the garage again and called him. He was sitting about 3 or 4 feet from the door. He came into the breezeway, I locked the garage, and he looked around like he was going back into the garage. I don't think so! I still had to capture him, but that's a lot easier in a six-foot-long space than a garage full of shelves and stuff. So we are all back inside where it's cooler.

And now, a video of a barking cat: