January 2nd, 2008

krazy koati

Wanted to bring the year in right

My sister's barn's party was a pleasant night, with a lot of interesting food and my first fondue since a trip I took to Switzerland in 1990, which combined with the kielbasa slices left me happy. I met the mother and half-sisters of the current younger cat and discovered every one of that family instinctively knows to close both eyes tight when photographed. One of the many kids brought in for the party took it upon herself to gather up the half-dozen cats and keep them in line on a bench, so that both the cats and she were occupied for hours without running the risk of accomplishment. The problem grew simpler once she found the bag of cat food and could dish it out lavishly.

The one slightly upsetting thing was that the cats had gone through a cold in the past couple weeks, and while they were no longer sneezing and were basically fine, they were also all very eye-boogery. I didn't know kittens could get eye boogers, and if it were up to me I'd say they shouldn't because it is not flattering to their faces at all.

One of the non-boogery kittens was very curious about all these people in his barn, and stepped out to investigate and explore. He looked quite determined and indignant. My sister reports that he's being held as one of the Barn Cats as he already shows signs of being a good hunter that disapproves of all these shenanigans and goings-on. He's clearly the sort of cat which, in an old and bad black-and-white movie runs the grocery store while wearing suspenders and wielding a broom angrily at smoochers, real or suspected.

The major pastime was trying to stay warm, since it turns out a barn in northern New Jersey the last week of the year is not necessarily a warm place. The tack room with its heater was available, and outside that they had one of those gas-powered heater things with the sloped roof that looks like a truncated cell phone tower. The problem was nobody could get it on. The instructions say something like turn the dial to ignition, hold it for thirty seconds, and then relax, and everyone who tried this saw the new-formed flame go out. Many people, all male, took their turns reading, turning, and inspecting the propane tank connections, until someone finally duct-taped the dial at ``ignition''. I'm sure that sort of thing is perfectly safe.

Trivia: Isaac Asimov received seventeen dollars in credit when he turned in his first typewriter on the purchase of a new one. This was seven dollars more than paid for that typewriter. Source: In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1920-1954, Isaac Asimov.

Currently Reading: A Wonderful Welcome to Oz, L Frank Baum. It's a collection of three of the Oz novels.