Category Archives: Personal

Just mundane stuff about my personal life. There’s nothing here that’s juicy, but it may be incredibly boring to anyone who doesn’t know me.

New addition

Well, I have a new addition to my family… a new 2012 Ford Focus hatchback. It’s pretty sweet. I was a little scared driving home from the dealer, however. It was dark and raining (I don’t like driving in the dark and in the rain) and I was driving an unfamiliar car. To add to the danger, I caught myself trying to play with all the techie stuff in the car, and there is a bunch of it! I finally decided to pull over, get something to eat and play with the car in the parking lot as I ate.

After about an hour of that (really!), I started my drive back home. About half-way there, I was out of the rain and I started feeling more comfortable. I brought it home and parked. I have kept my Beetle and it’s still parked in its usual spot, in front of my apartment and the Focus is in a guest spot. I’ll switch them tomorrow. I know my Beetle will be jealous. It has served me well, but it’s past its prime. I’m keeping it as a backup.

I’ll write some more tomorrow, after I’ve gotten to know my Focus better.

Annabelle Lee


Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Reader: Michael Alan Moore

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love –
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me
Yes! that was the reason
(as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we
Of many far wiser than we
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In the sepulcher there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Transitioning Again

I’m a computer person from way back (1981 or so). I’ve done a lot of tech jobs in that time including help desk, desktop support, teaching and programming. My most current gig was as a contract developer (programmer) for a consulting company (Bucher + Christian), here in Indianapolis, Indiana. I worked at the Lilly Corporate Center for 18 months. Normally, Lilly limits contractors to a maximum of 18 months, however a woman from the Lilly Technology Center saw what I had done for a counterpart of hers at LCC, so she lobbied to have my contract extended for 3 months so I could do the same for her.

That contract ended last Tuesday (11/24). The consulting firm doesn’t have anything for me at the moment, so I am currently “between assignments”. I’ve been between jobs before and I know that I’ll be OK. I’ll be eligible for unemployment benefits and I’ve been able to save quite a bit of money over the last 21 months. I think I’ll be fine for up to a year, if necessary.

However, it’s going to be a challenge. From past experience, I know that the worst part is going to be to keep myself motivated and productive. It’s very easy to get depressed. I need to guard against that.

Right now, I’m at a branch library doing some work (updating resumes, filing unemployment, etc.). I’ve found that if I don’t get out of the apartment, I start feeling bad. This definitely helps. I’ll keep posting here for my own sanity.

Goodbye Friend

On Thursday, April 16 a friend of mine passed away at the age of 96. Her name was Helen M. Everitt. She and I used to work at the Scott County Public Library together in Scottsburg, Indiana when I was a page there. She was one of my favorite people with whom to work. She was fun-loving, kind, smart and just an all-around nice person.

I think it was on Tuesday (or was it Thursday?) that we got books back from the local nursing homes. There used to be a program where the Library would take books to read to the residents of area nursing homes. It was Helen’s job to check the returned books back in. As a page, it was my job to reshelve them. I normally dreaded that day.

I would load up my cart with books and start the reshelving process. Initially, as I would be shelving the books, Helen would come by with an armload and pile them on my cart. It seemed that I’d no sooner finish with a stack of books until there’d be another stack replacing them. Also, I would have arranged the books in a certain order to make the process easier for me. When new books were added, it messed up my system. I would soon get discouraged. It seemed like I’d never finish.

One day, I explained to Helen that I preferred to load up my cart and completely clear it before getting more books. I asked her if she could just wait for me to come by with my cart when I was ready for them. Helen readily agreed. She was very accommodating. This one little concession made my job a lot more bearable. Of course, it meant that the books stacked up on Helen’s table until I came by. She didn’t seem to be bothered by it, as long as it was helping someone else.

I remember too, that I really enjoyed talking to her. She usually had some fun story to tell about her younger days. She also really loved puns (as do I). The more apt they were to make people groan when the punchline was told, the better she liked them.

She also really loved chocolate. She told me several times that when she died, if she found out that they didn’t have chocolate in heaven, that she didn’t want to go! Well, Helen, I hope you’re getting your fill of chocolate even now, as I write this! Thanks for sharing yourself with us all.

Not Gone

It has been over a year and a half since Rascal passed away. I think of him very often. He’s still with me in spirit. I have since adopted a new male cat, Scamp, who helps fill the void left by Rascal.

While Scamp, in no way replaces Rascal, he is similar in many ways. He’s a rogue like Rascal. They both want constant attention and like to play all the time and play rough.

Rascal hasn’t visited me in my dreams in a long time, but I think of him a lot. He was a very special cat.

Feeling better

Rascal visited me this morning. Before you call the guys in the white coats, let me explain. This morning, I was half sleeping. The radio was on and I was drifting in and out of sleep. I felt something jump up on me. It felt like a cat, but it didn’t feel like Pandora. I immediately thought, “Could it be Rascal?” It jumped off of me and laid down right next to me. I turned over and I saw Rascal. I was overjoyed. Then I woke up.

Rather than being disappointed that it was “only a dream”, I was elated. I felt good. No matter what it was, I felt him. For just a second or two, I felt that he was there. I was very happy that he came back… even if it was “only a dream”. I believe that when you love someone, he or she is never really dead. I do believe that they can come back and make their presence know. I think this is true of animals as well. They come back if we are willing for them to.

Regardless of what my experience this morning was, I know that Rascal is still alive as long as I love him and I know he’ll be back from time to time… if “only in my dreams”.

An emptiness

While I was still lying in bed this morning, Pandora cam and laid at the head of the bed. I was physically petting her, but I was really petting Rascal.

I went to church this morning and my church friends were very supportive of me. Many of them have had indoor pets and know what pain it is to lose them.

When I got back home, the place seemed somewhat empty. Pandora was lying on the bed. I felt an urge to go look for Rascal, but I know he’s no longer here. I just decided to love Pandora all the more. A few tears are welling up as I write this.

1997 – 2007

Rascal breathed his last breath today. I had been giving him the fluids. He seemed to be doing fairly well, considering his condition. I haven’t posted much in the last few weeks, because there hadn’t been much of a change. Basically, he was hanging in there. His appetite had improved and he was eating dry cat food. I had an appointment for the vet for him this coming Monday.

Anyway, I had noticed that he breathed heavily when I picked him up. I noticed this earlier this week. On Wednesday, I went to the vet’s office to get some more fluid. I asked them about it. Since Rascal would be OK again when I put him back down, we thought that it might be anxiety because he thought I was going to give him fluid.

Anyway, earlier today, he didn’t seem to be any different. I went to Scottsburg with my friend, Judy. We were concerned about another friend of ours, so we drove there to visit her. I was supposed to go, with Judy, to a dinner tonight.

After I got back from Scottsburg, I noticed that Rascal was breathing very heavily even when he was just sitting on the bed. I called Judy and told her about it and I cancelled my evening with her. I called the animal hospital and they told me to bring him in right away. I had to stop at Judy’s on my way, because she had left the tickets in my car. On my way to Judy’s, I knew things weren’t good at all when Rascal started gurgling. While I was at Judy’s (I was still in the car, Rascal stopped breathing and stiffened. I called Judy back to the car. We hugged and both cried.

I called my friend, Jerry and asked him if I could bring Rascal up to his place in Scottsburg. When Rascal was first diagnosed, I asked Jerry if we could bury Rascal in his yard. Of course, he had said “yes”. When I got there, we wrapped him in a towel I had with him in his cat carrier. We then put him in a box and buried him. I was really moved when I saw that Jerry had already mad a small plaque out of cement that read “Rascal”. That was one of the nicest things that anyone has ever done for me.

I visited with Jerry for a while. I’m back home now. When I got in the apartment, I picked up Pandora and told her that Rascal wasn’t coming back and it was just her and me now. I asked her to give her daddy a little extra love for the next few days. Even though she can’t understand me talking to her, I think she knows what happened. Animals are very intuitive.

I’m OK now, but I know the next few days will be hard. I appreciate all the kind thoughts of my friends and family. Thanks.

The life of Reilly

Rascal is doing better. The vet didn’t find any evidence of infection. We started Rascal on fluid therapy. He got his first treatment on Wednesday. Every 2 or 3 days, we’re going to give him fluids subcutaneously. This will help get rid of the toxins. I’ve heard people tell me that they’ve had cats live for five years of more with kidney disease.

Rascal had his first treatment on Wednesday and one on Saturday morning. He seems to be eating better and has just a tad more energy. I saw him eat some dried cat food earlier today. He still not eating a lot, but he is eating. I’m very encouraged.

A New Hope

Why do I feel like George Lucas? 🙂

I took Rascal to see Dr. David Jones. Rascal’s weight has dropped to 7 pounds! He was very reassuring, however and he said that he wants to get some more information before he can say anything definite. He said that in cat’s Rascal’s age, when there is kidney failure, there is usually some underlying cause. Once the cause is identified, you treat it. He said that it could be an infection. He gave me some oral antibiotics to give Rascal. His approach is to try things and see if they make a difference. He also needs a urine specimen from Rascal. He gave the tools to get it. Once we have that, he’ll know more. At least I have a plan now and that makes me feel a little better.