RIP Charcoal

On Friday, we had to put our cat Charcoal to sleep. He’s been having issues the past couple weeks and on Friday we were told he had irreparable liver damage. The kids were at their moms that day, so I picked them up for a few hours so they could say their goodbyes. Charcoal seemed really happy that entire day, hanging out with Emily on the chair while she played on her laptop and purring a ton. It was great to see him seeming so happy, but just made me feel more guilty for what I had to do. I stayed with him until he was gone. Saddest day ever.

New Home

Thursday I visited the rental office and signed the papers for the new apartment. Or, townhouse, they call it. I don’t know what that means, but it sure looks like an apartment to me. We did an inspection of the apartment and it was officially mine. I ended up taking carloads of things over all day since work was dead. I think I quit at 11pm that night. Also I picked up the kids from school even though I didn’t have them that day, just because I was excited to show them the new place.

On Friday the kids were home from school so I didn’t get much moved since they took up too much of the car space. Around noon we rented a U-Haul and they helped me fill up the back with tons of stuff. I think we took just one load in the U-Haul, then spent some time in the new place, organizing and cleaning. We also officially moved the cat – he was pretty freaked out about the car ride and the new place. Colleen picked up the kids around 5:30. That night, a guy from Craigslist came to help me move all the heavy stuff. I was starting to get worried since he was 3 hours later than he planned to be and my U-Haul had to be back at 8:00 the following morning. But once he arrived, he was great. We got everything moved in just two truckloads. The couch was the worst and we could barely fit it in the front door of the new place.

When we first arrived at the new place, the cat came down and greeted us. Then he disappeared. After not seeing him for awhile, I started to worry that he might have run outside while one of the doors was open. So me and this guy, Alex, start searching the apartment and calling for the cat. I thoroughly search each room, looking up on shelves, under blankets, and behind everything. No cat. We walk around outside, looking for him in bushes and stuff. No sign of him. So we leave the garage door open a few inches, just in case he’s outside.

We go and pick up the 2nd load from the old place and bring it back. And still no cat. It’s pretty unusual since the cat is always running around when people are here. I’m starting to get kind of worried. The kids would be really upset if the cat turned up missing. Alex and I do a little more searching, both inside and out, and then he leaves. I start searching rooms and closets, shutting doors as I’m 100% sure that the cat isn’t in a room. After maybe 20 minutes, I’m finished and still haven’t found him. I decide that I’m going to start searching outside so I head to my room to get my flashlight. I’m starting to think about what picture of the cat that we’ll use on LOST CAT posters and I’m thinking maybe I’ll sit on my porch for half the night, hoping to see the cat running around in someone’s yard. And there’s the cat, right in the middle of the hallway.

At the time I had no idea where he could be hiding, but after telling Emily about it yesterday she told me he was probably inside the couch. If he wasn’t there, then he’s found a pretty amazing hiding spot. But yeah, he was probably in the couch. Later that night I took my first walk to 7-Eleven! It’s just 3 blocks away, which to me is a major perk of living here. Dari-Mart was 8 blocks from us at the old place, which was a little too far for a quick walk for a snack. I’m going to love having a 7-Eleven so close. I got some Nutter Butters and an empty cup for milk. That was my supper.

Saturday morning I woke up at 7am to take the U-Haul back. I had to stop by the old apartment to use my broom to sweep out the back of the truck, then put $5.00 of gas into it. Got a McGriddle for breakfast and went back home to wait for the cable guy. The kids came over around 9ish and they spent the day playing and occasionally helping me clean and organize things.

I can’t get over how much I like this new place. Warren issues aside, I’m just liking it here tons better than the old apartment and it’s worth every bit of the increased rent. My closet and room are huge. I could easily fit 3 dressers into the closet and still have room to walk around in it. Not that I have that many clothes, but it’s great that I can stuff all my bedroom stuff into there and have the rest of the space (aside from my bed) for nothing but office. My giant wall of shelves is several feet longer than in the old office. And it’s so nice to have a garage to store things in. Things like empty boxes, computer parts, random electronics and car parts. I had to keep all that junk in my room before. And no more scraping the ice/frost from the windows in the mornings!

The neighborhood rules and there’s a cool park about 10 blocks away that we walked to yesterday. There’s also woods everywhere. We went for a long hike in the woods next to the park yesterday. It was freezing, but fun. I’m going to search them for Geocaches soon and if there aren’t any, we’re going to place a new one there.

There’s woods right next to the apartments too that are fenced off, but easily accessible if we enter from the other side. I’m sure we’ll end up checking those out once it gets a little warmer out. On the downside, I can’t walk/bike to the post office and lunch anymore since I’m no longer close to downtown. Not that I could bike there anyway since Warren kept stealing my bike. But on the upside, I can walk to school now!

My Flickr page has pictures of the new place. And a few pictures of the old place being disassembled. I have 3 weeks still, to get the old place cleaned up in hopes of getting my full deposit back.

Suicidal Cat

The cat is up there playing, biting on the wood and running back and forth. Any second now he’s going to fall off.

This morning I fixed myself a healthy breakfast of cornflakes, covered with as much sugar as possible. I went in my room to eat and shut my door so the cat wouldn’t try to steal any. When I came back out 10 minutes later, I could hear the cat meowing frantically. I finally found him inside the fridge. Good thing he didn’t sneak in there right before I left the house for the day. That’d be such a bummer to find a dead cat in the fridge.

Pumpkins, Cat, Podcasts

Last week I bought a new cell phone. It’s a Blackberry 8830 and it rocks. It’s got the best web browsing capabilities of any cell phone I’ve ever owned, it tethers internet to my laptop and it easily syncs all of my Outlook data to it. Plus it does really cool things with Google Maps and GPS. There’s even a geocaching program I can buy for it. My only complaint is that it doesn’t have a camera. I was able to sell my old LG phone for more than half of the cost of this phone. And since this phone is a replacement for my Pocket PC, I’m selling that too. In the end, I’ll be making almost $100 from buying this new phone.

Listened to a couple episodes of a podcast tonight called Public Nuisance Radio which isn’t the best show ever, but it introduced me to a new song I like. It’s by a band called The Vandals and the song is called My Girlfriend’s Dead. It’s in their playlist so go listen to it. It seems like all my favorite podcasts have really slowed down or quit lately. I need to find some new ones to listen to. At least the first one I tried gave me some new music, even if I’m not crazy about the show.

Yesterday the kids and I bought a couple pumpkins and they carved them. The one on the left is Emily’s and the one on the right is Payton’s. I was surprised to hear that they’d never done this before. I don’t know why I never got them pumpkins before, I guess I just never thought of it. I think it’s been more than 10 years since I carved one. In fact, I think the last time was when Sylvia and I stole a giant one from a pumpkin stand, not realizing that carrying it 2 miles to my parents house on foot would be really hard. Part of the time we made a sling out of our jackets and carried it between us.

My cat climbs on everything. He climbed up the side of one of my shirts to get to the top of my closet in that picture. It’s annoying. I’m really torn on the issue of declawing him. But I’m starting to think it’ll have to be done soon. I thought that I wouldn’t care before since I don’t ever intend to own any nice furniture that he would scratch up. But I can’t have him destroying my shirts.

I throw him out of my office 3 or 4 times a day and shut the door to keep him out. He loves to go behind my desk and chew on wires. He’s also chewed on the plants a little and once spilled a little dirt on my laptop. It’d sure suck to have the whole plant come crashing down on the laptop keyboard. So I have to lock him out of my room when I leave. This evening he was playing behind the desk and stepped on the main power supply to everything, shutting off my desktop. Not that I was using it, but I wanted to kill him. Tonight I put my large collection of Priority Mail boxes to good use and fenced him out of the area with the wires:

The boxes were the perfect height, and I was able to use the sticky strip on the top of them to stick them to the desk so they don’t fall over. We’ll see how long this lasts. Right now he’s laying on my lap, purring. Normally I would have thrown him out of the room by now so this is looking good.

I guess his name is Charcoal since that’s what the kids are insisting on.

Right now I’m listening to Episode 7 of Haxor Radio. It’s probably one of the most informative shows I’ve ever heard, covering radio shack policies and a bunch of cell phone stuff that’s interesting to me. Plus they hax0r MY Radio Shack account info. Go listen to their shows.

Kitten and Roomba

I’ve been wanting to get a cat ever since I moved to Oregon and today we finally picked one up.

He’s going to be strictly an indoor cat since we don’t have a yard. So far he’s gotten to know the house pretty well and we’ve teased him to death with the laser pointer. He doesn’t have an official name but the kids are talking about naming him Charles or Chuck. I’m not sure why. They’re also going over names of Halo 3 characters. Hopefully they’ll settle on something this weekend.

Here’s something I videotaped last month. We built a cage around a Roomba to trap it. It worked for awhile but eventually it escaped, proving that these things will soon enslave the world.