April 8th, 2012


Easter Kitties

A Long Tradition

Sure, you've got Easter bunnies and fuzzy chicks and even Peeps made of flexible unobtanium. But for me, Easter is about kitties.

For many years, starting when we lived in the U.P., we would venture forth to Reedsburg WI to visit family friends. This was aided by Michigan Tech taking a half day off for Good Friday. Mrs. Dr. Phil's dad and his family would come up from Chicago, and much boisterous activity and eating would take place out in the hills of Wisconsin farmland. Easter, being a moving date from year to year, ends up celebrating spring as a side benefit, it all its glories. The weather would definitely change as we headed south. Sometimes there'd be snow. Or mud. Or rains. Or brown. Or 80 degrees and flowers and plants bursting all over.

Then there was the dog, the cats, the chickens, the ducks. All a movable Easter parade.

After we moved to West Michigan, it actually got harder to run off to Wisconsin for Easter. But nineteen years ago our visit coincided with Annie, a very pleasant little cat, having found herself swallowing a 16" softball and we told Mimi we were ready to have new cats. And in the summer we got three of the five kittens. Alas, Bagel (originally Orlando) and Blue are gone. And Sam is getting old.

Ah, Sam... my very own special kitty, who adopted me one day by taking a full run and leap at me. I thought I was under attack, but he just wanted to snuggle and purr against my beard. We've been a cute pair ever since.

And now Sam is fading. We've been regulating his diabetes with great success for over two years, but we figure his kidneys are going as it was with his brother and sister. And the diabetic diet food and the kidney diets are the opposites in terms of carbohydrates versus protein.

So its been sad watching our last kitty friend not eat much and declining. But he's napping in warm Easter sunshine right now. And we'll take care of him.

Saturday night, and after a long snuggle, I got up and returned to find Sam curled up in the warm chair. (grin) No, I did not disturb him. (double-grin) (Click on photo for larger.)

Dr. Phil

First Review In -- Ugh

Anticipation Met With Defeat

I was looking forward to Lois Tilton's review of my story "End Run on GigaNotoSaurus (DW), especially as she had been hoping for some longer stories from them.

Alas, the review at LocusOnline
Green Ensign Darlene Charles reports aboard he [sic] new assignment, meets every single officer and member of the crew and learns every single rope, in an appallingly prolonged and dull narrative. If this were the opening chapter of a novel – which I have my suspicions it might be – the length might be excusable. Not the dullness. And when the expected Crisis finally arrives, instead of our heroine’s competence, what readers are more likely to see are the dominoes so carefully set up by the author falling clickety into place without ruffling our composure by any narrative tension.

Ah, well. Can't please everyone. Won't argue reviews. (But the story is what it is -- not an excerpt of anything or (yet) stretched into a longer work.)

I suspect that one can set up things too well for some sensibilities.

Dr. Phil

PS -- I do have a whole crew list. You don't meet the WHOLE crew. I just have an annoying habit of believing that a ship has a crew and the protagonist will interact with more than three characters in carrying out their duties and... Oh just shut up, Dr. Phil -- you're not arguing! (grin)