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Mark's Journal
The pups and I are relaxing in bed, and I just used the Nest app on my iPad to turn the heat up a couple of degrees. 62 makes getting out of bed less tempting!

Rex has no idea he's only here for another few days. I'll miss the little stinker, but I won't really miss some of his idiosyncrasies. I just read back through most of 2014 in my LiveJournal, and the first mention of him back in the spring was very offhand. He had been expected to spend the summer elsewhere, and Sofie was the one who was to stay in Ithaca.

Rex was originally only going to be here for a couple of months, after he arrived, but it's now been almost six months. He has settled in, and while he still growls at Penny when she tries to climb up on the couch or bed when he's already on it, he gets over it. Right now he's partly under the covers. He isn't as much a burrower as Penny is, but he's more willing to be cuddly than even just a couple of months ago.

I probably won't get in the habit of entries on the iPad. This silly app won't rotate so I can type on the wider keyboard!

OK, it's warmed up a bit, and I'm going to get out of bed.
I've put in the adoption application for Carter! Things went very well on his first meeting with Penny on Tuesday, better than any of the SPCA folks hoped or even imagined. All three of them were impressed at how well he took cues from Penny, and how good she was at giving them. She's really an amazingly well-behaved dog, which is why I was pretty sure this would work fine. Carter hasn't really known how to interact with other dogs, and she's teaching him. Today's session was great, too.

Penny & CarterThe SPCA folks agree that it would complicate things to introduce Carter to Rex, too. Since he's leaving in a few days, we're going to wait until Kaitlin comes and collects him before trying to bring Carter home. Then he can come settle into the house with just Penny, whom he's already (more or less) gotten to know. I think we'll also need to wait a while before introducing him to Gloria, Molly's pit who visits frequently for dinner or a weekend. Carter reportedly does fine when he runs into other dogs while out for a walk, but might not react well to random dogs showing up at "his" house. Once he's comfortable here, we can experiment.

This probably also means no more visiting my parents with the dogs. Unless Carter turns out to be every bit as chill as Penny was, I'll need to find him somewhere else to stay when I visit them. Molly is happy to take care of the dogs (I take care of hers often enough), and Carter has other fans who've offered to help! They did fine with just Penny visiting last year for Thanksgiving, but both Penny and Rex last month was pushing it.

So, with Kaitlin likely to be picking up Rex at the end of the week, it'll probably be next weekend before I bring Carter home. Count on more photos to come. :-)
Merry Christmas! Does anyone else think the flurry of press coverage this week about a passenger who got booted off a flight at LaGuardia Airport for flipping out after one too many people wished him a "Merry Christmas" is nonsense? Most stories about passenger incidents include a name. Especially since this one seems to have started with the New York Post, I wouldn't be surprised if it were a "War on Christmas" hack job.

As has become tradition over the last several years, I joined acappellasinger for the stereotypical Jewish Christmas of Chinese food and movies. I was really impressed with both "Into the Woods" and "Annie!" I'll be writing reviews soon. Since they're both adaptations of stage musicals, I might even work them both into a single article. Not sure yet.

Yesterday's Boxing Day brunch was a return to tradition; it's something I've done a few times, but not in a while. I think. Just a few friends, including dansr's lovely little girl! Miss Rowan is really a gem, and of course the dogs love her.

Speaking of dogs, leaving shortly with Penny for another visit with Carter. Their first visit went very well, and I'm optimistic he'll be able to join our family soon!
iJournal, the LiveJournal client for Mac I've been using for years and years, hasn't been updated in a long time. The developer did a small fix a few years ago to make it work despite a Mac OS X update breaking the client, but hasn't had time to make it work for Mavericks or Yosemite, the two latest Mac versions.

So, a few weeks ago, when the IT office that's responsible for our department upgraded my work Mac to Mavericks without warning, iJournal stopped working. I've posted a couple of random things with the web interface, but I don't really enjoy doing so. Is there a big difference? Not really. It's just not what I'm used to.

asLJ seems to work, though, and I'm going to try to get back in the habit of posting regularly. It doesn't let me change the userpic from the default, but I'm sure I can easily change that once an entry is posted.

Watching the Army-Navy game! Are you? I've watched a couple of those on the campus of USMA at West Point, and part of one on the campus of USNA in Annapolis, but mostly I watch in my living room. I know some friends care about the game way more than I do, but I do find it an enjoyable college football game. I also don't really care who wins, though I have a light allegiance to Navy for several reasons, including several friends who served, not to mention my week at USNA for a seminar I was invited to years ago. #GoNavy #BeatArmy

Right now both dogs are curled up on the couch, though Rex keeps wandering off. He's much more restless than Penny in general. He's only with us for another couple of weeks; his person is coming back to the US from Scotland for the holidays, and will be here late this month or early January to collect him.
Did I ever skip a family Thanksgiving because of bad weather making it inadvisable to drive? Or a bad cold? I know each has happened with a family gathering or two, but I think Thanksgiving has always come off successfully. A couple of times it's just been my parents and my brother and me, though probably only on their rare Thanksgiving trips to Ithaca. At least one of those we ate at a B&B's restaurant, and I remember being pleasantly surprised that it felt warm and cozy and holiday-like.

GWB from Yonkers WaterfrontToday was just my parents and me, since my brother and his wife were spending the holiday with her family, and the cousins who usually host the huge family dinner went south to visit another branch of the family. My parents didn't feel like putting together a fancy dinner at home for just the three of us, and who can blame them? So they made reservations at a favorite spot a couple of towns away. X20 Xaviars on the Hudson is a waterfront restaurant where my cousin's bar mitzvah was about four years ago, and my parents (and Jeff and Daina) have been there since. Here's the view looking south; that's the George Washington Bridge to the right, and the Manhattan skyline beyond.

Definitely not a cozy meal, since the place was bustling, but they put together an excellent meal. The price tag looks high, but with each dinner including an appetizer, main course, and dessert, not to mention three different kinds of bread, and even an amuse-bouche pre-appetizer, I think it was pretty reasonable. Very good food, as well. There was of course turkey, served with apple-chestnut stuffing and giblet gravy, but none of us ordered it. I had turkey at our office Thanksgiving potluck on Tuesday, so I didn't really feel it was urgent, and there were other interesting options! Roast duck proved a good pick.

Both Rex and Penny came with me to my parents' house, but I think my parents really just barely tolerate them being here. They really don't want them roaming loose in the house, so they've got to stay in the room with the door closed, or with me under tight control. Rex, especially, has been a bit antsy, and while my parents think he's cute (and they already love Penny), I think he makes them nervous. If I didn't really want to get to the hockey game on Saturday night, especially to see everyone who'll be there, I'd be tempted to cut the visit short for the dogs' sake. It should be OK.

Think I'll see if I can embed the photo of Penny and Rex I posted to Facebook earlier, now that they have an "embed" link on photos. If it works, it's of the two pups on the futon in my brother's old room.

This is my first time using LJ's web posting feature in ages. I've used iJournal for years and years, but the developer hasn't had time to try recompiling it to get it to work with the newer operating systems. Best I can tell, there is no longer any other LiveJournal client for Mac OS available. (If anyone knows of one that works with Yosemite, please point me to it!)
That Monty Python line is probably not the only reason I knew the answer to the trivia question on Monday night, which asked for the outdated five-letter name for Myanmar, but it didn't hurt.

After years of going to trivia night at Pixel pretty much every Wednesday until they stopped, missing really only a tiny handful of weeks when I was out of town or too sick to go out, I enjoy going to the Monday night trivia at Silky Jones but have never quite made it a weekly habit.

That may be about to change.

I've guest-hosted for Bob several times when he's needed a week off, a couple of times for travel and once when there was a Monday-night concert he just neeeeded to go to. And now, Bob and his wife are expecting a baby in a few months, which means he's thinking about retiring. He's asked if I'd be willing to take on the job as his replacement. You bet! There are probably occasional conflicts where I wouldn't be able to be there, but I'm sure I could find a sub.

He's made guest-hosting pretty easy for me, putting together nearly all of the questions ahead of time, and I realize that's even more of a commitment than just showing up on Mondays. It's a lot of what they're paying the host for, and they pay the host impressively well. But I think it'll be worth it. I might just have to ask for suggestions of trivia questions, or themes, once in a while!
It's been a busy few days, and I think I deserve a quiet night tonight. Might try to do something interesting foodwise, but then I think I'll be relaxing with the dogs and the TiVo.

Penny always takes it in stride when I close the bedroom door at night; she just curls up on the couch for the night. Though, if she makes it into the bedroom, she does not want to lie down on the dog bed. It probably doesn't help that Rex has been making a beeline for the dog bed and there isn't really room for two of them. (I should work on that.) So, Penny wants to be on my bed. If I tell her to go lie down, she looks grumpy, but she does, for a while. Eventually she ends up on the bed, even if she has to wait until I'm fast asleep to sneak up there. But then she tries to nose her way under the covers. It's adorable, but disruptive. :-)

Rex, on the other hand, has been flipping out if I close him out of the bedroom at night. He's been whimpering and scratching at the door. A few nights ago I stayed firm, but he kept waking me up. Finally, at 5:55am, I decided to let him in. I may need to try again tonight, and put in earplugs so if he's annoyed, at least I can't hear him. I don't want to trap him in his crate all night, since he's so good about getting in there on request and I don't want him to start feeling unhappy about being in there.

I'm actually pretty well rested today, because I overslept! WVBR has been having transmitter issues, or actually connection-to-transmitter issues, so they were broadcasting silence this morning. Once in a while, the soft click of the radio turning on wakes me up anyway, even if it's silent, but not today. I slept almost an hour and a half past my alarm. Got moving quickly and made it to work only about 20 minutes later than I otherwise would've been.
This editorial grew out of a conversation I had three years ago, immortalized in a LiveJournal post.

The article is online now, but will be "published" to our social media outlets in the morning. Feel free to subscribe to 14850today to follow what we publish via RSS on LiveJournal, or follow 14850 Magazine on Facebook and Twitter. Needless to say, likes and comments and tweets and shares are always most welcome. We don't make much money from 14850 Magazine, but every bit of traffic helps, and the more interaction we get on social media, the more the social media outlets decide to share what we do.
I've gotten my flu vaccine. My boss suggested we all go over to the vet school this morning for the free flu shot clinic over there, since Gannett isn't doing their annual clinic on our side of campus for another few weeks. She offered to drive, too.

As we were leaving, Phil said his car was right here, so he drove us over, and our boss gave him one of the temporary single-use parking permits where you have to scratch off the date you're using it. "I always get a parking ticket over there," she said.

The line was really long, snaking from the atrium where they were doing the flu shot clinic down the hall and into the next building. I guess it took about twenty minutes to get through the line, and we got to spend a little of that time filling out the form and reading the vaccine info on a clipboard. Getting the shot itself was pretty quick and easy, of course, and relatively painless. Removing the little "dot" bandage later will be much more painful.

We also checked out the cafeteria, which I'm pretty sure has moved since chesther and I used to walk up there for lunch from central campus once in a while. Karen insists it's been where it is for at least a decade, and I guess Chris and I were going there longer ago than that. I'm nearly certain it used to be on the second floor of the vet research tower, instead of on the first floor of Schurman, right? Anyway, we were checking it out because Dining had been one of the bidders to take over last year, and someone else got the bid.

And then we headed out to the car, where of course there was a parking ticket. Phil had forgotten to scratch off the date. Karen's going to appeal it. We'll see how that goes!
Three sick days was pretty restful, even if I spent some of it working on my couch, but I'm ready to be back at the office. I was trying to be more respectful of my coworkers' health than the coworker who just welcomed me back and said his cough was still lingering. He's probably who I caught this from last week.

The doggies got lots of extra time and attention from me this week, which probably helped them adapt to the drop to just two dogs in the house!
User: mhaithaca
Name: Mark
Website: My Website
Back December 2014