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< Piro >

"crazy old cat guy"

Wednesday - September 19, 2007

[Piro] - 11:28:26 - [link here]

I want to apologize for the delays this week. I have a lot of things that i have been dealing with over time that i really can't blog about, and so it can be hard to rant or even do your job properly when some of them take up more than the usual amount of your thoughtspace. I've been doing a fairly decent job of balancing it all up till last Friday, when i suddenly had to deal with something that has taken me some time to work through.

To ease any fears you might be developing in your head - Sarah is fine, so is the baby. Like any pregnancy there have been concerns and worries, but overall everything is going good, really good. This was something that came out of left field, and has to do with my eldest cat Momo.

To be frank, i really am a "crazy old cat guy." Our animals are important to us, and as you might expect it can be pretty upsetting when they have problems. You may remember that in the past two years we had a cancer scare and a health scare with two of our other cats (as well as the acquisition of a shadowy green eyed grey cat :). Momo is getting old, at least 11 years old, so health problems are to be expected, but that doesn't make it easy when they come.

On Friday last week Sarah noticed that Momo's gums were starting to show some signs of inflamation, and that it would be a good idea to get him in for a checkup and a teeth cleaning. Years back he had to have some teeth pulled and his lower gums get irritated sometimes. The first few years of Momo's life were a little rough -- when we first saw him, he was a gaunt, seriously injured cat recuperating at the Michigan Animal Rescue League in Detroit. He was a street cat that had been mauled by a dog, but as soon as he recovered a few weeks later i went back up to Detroit and brought him home.

Anyways, when they took blood panels for his checkup it was discovered that his kidney numbers were high. This is an indication of the beginning of kidney problems in older cats known as Chronic Renal Failure or CRF. This is not something that can be fixed.

When i read the words "CRF is a terminal disease," you can imagine that it hit me pretty hard.

I brought Momo in for his cleaning on Tuesday, and they kept him overnight and had him on IV. He responded well to that, and we brought him home yesterday. Fact is, he looks fine and is acting as spunky as he always has, but now that i am looking closer there are some small behavioral changes. The good news is that we are catching it early, and so we can treat him for it and try to keep the load on his kidneys as light as possible. This includes doing something that gave me real pause yesterday - giving fluids under the skin at the nape of his neck 2 to 3 times per week with what is quite literally a IV bag and kit.

So... please excuse me for the delays this week. This was unexpected, and I think i took the news of this harder than i realized. I feel better now, especially since i am in a position to do something and help. Quality of life is very important to me for the people and creatures i care about, and Momo is a pretty happy cat -- and has been for many years. I'm glad we can keep this from hitting him too hard too quick, and keep him rumbling along comfortably. That can be anywhere from a few months to several years. I can deal with that.

Anyways, thank you for your patience. I'm doing a hella lot better today. Gonna dive back into getting this friggin comic done, and regroup myself *again* and try to get back on schedule for next week. :)

< Dom >


Thursday - August 23, 2007

[Dom] - 10:30:00 - [link here]

So not only has pixiebell been riding me for a month to write a new rant, but her sister Kuromi is now in on the act. And since her sister actually lives within striking distance of me and has deadly accuracy with a dodgeball, I find myself slogging through the MegaTokyo back end again.

You see, that's what's really keeping me from ranting more often - it's not that I don't like the writing. I LOVE writing. I have started writing for myself again (though it's for a D&D campaign, at least it's motivating me to work with weekly deadlines), and I still contribute to Newtype. Heck, I've been asked to write for some indie rags, and I think I just might take them up on their offer.

It's not that I don't like MegaTokyo, either. I love this site, and I love working with Fred. I've been here since the beginning, and if things go well, I'll turn off the lights on the way out.

But as you may or may not know, Megatokyo as a site was never designed to be as big as it was. So it's a giant patchwork, and it really shows on the back end.

Here's the process for writing a rant:
Step 1: Open up a browser and navigate to the SQL back end of MT, and create a table entry in the database for the rant. Write the rant, using appropriate meta-data.
Step 2: Assuming that I'm not using the default graphic (the charming picture of me you see above), find an appropriate image, resize it to 300x245 (and seriously, what the hell kind of proportion is that?) via some kind of image editor and save it.
Step 3: Open up a secure FTP program and hit up the MegaTokyo file server, navigating from /home/Dom to the /rantpics folder way somewhere in /htdocs. Pray that the server is accepting files at the moment, and keep that window open.
Step 4: Log into MegaTokyo via a shell, as root. Try and remember what the correct command and path is to run recache.php, and wait 5 minutes as everything runs.
Step 5: Remember that secure FTP client? Go back into it and dig into the RSS, then hand-edit the RSS feed, save it, and quit out.

In all, this process takes about an hour beyond writing the rant itself, and good god does it get tedious. Note that it involves at least 5 programs and two instances of praying that I don't break anything.

And that is why Fred and I haven't blogged since last month.

However! With the new MT site coming up, hopefully I'll be able to write my little piece, usually in under an hour, hit "publish" and voila!

So yeah, whenever that happens, I actually will rant more. Until then, I'll see you guys in the forums.


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