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January 17, 2009

Friday Cat Blogging - Upstairs, Downstairs

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It's been a while since I've posted about the tribe(s). There are still 2 distinct tribes -- the Upstairs and the Downstairs. The Downstairs also occasionally go outside, but not during this bitter cold and snow. The females still get into it. Mackenzie and Sadie wander downstairs and make forays into the Downstairs territory now and then, and then a great chase / howl scene ensues. When I go down for breakfast in the morning the Upstairs cats follow me down, waiting for their food, which I put in a different place (hallway) than I do for the Downstairs tribe (kitchen counter.)

As you can see from this photo (taken today), the Upstairs group is as tight as ever. It never ceases to amaze me how perfectly close and snug they can get to each other. When it's below zero outside, it's pretty adaptive. I've been home sick for the past 2 days and Pookie has been an excellent nurse cat.

Posted by hgroteva at 10:12 PM

January 18, 2009

The Audacity of Hope

I've been watching the Obama specials on TV (including the NBC special called The Audacity of Hope and the HBO special of the Lincoln Memorial celebration), and I know that anything I could say at this point would be trite. Nevertheless, I must say, this is an incredible time in history and I feel privileged to be a part of it. Something amazing is stirring throughout the country. Despite all our woes, there is a sense of hope... but even more importantly, a sense of being united. What an amazing leader, and what an amazing time!

Posted by hgroteva at 7:28 PM

January 21, 2009

Parsing the Inaugural Speech

I thought Obama's inaugural speech was amazing, on many levels. Today, the Chicago Tribune posted an article, "Obama's Inauguration Speech, Annotated," which parses a number of the significant phrases in the speech and delves into the associated literary devices and significant word choices that were made.

The article was re-printed in full on The Periodic Table Too blog today. I'm linking directly to it HERE, since there are no ads or distracting sidebars. HERE is the link directly to the Chicago Tribune story. For anyone who loves words, that speech was a treasure trove.

Posted by hgroteva at 8:14 PM

January 29, 2009

My Kinda Guy

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U.S. / Politics
White House Unbuttons Formal Dress Code
Published: January 29, 2009
Pictures of a jacketless President Obama at the White House last week may signal a discreet culture shift.

Today's NYT ran this story about the informality Obama has brought to the White House -- what a breath of fresh air! Imagine this ... He actually walks around the White House and visits colleagues' offices rather than summon them to appear in a suit. And staff can wear "business casual" on Saturdays. I could deal with that. I couldn't deal with wearing a suit every day, I confess. During and after college, I worked in downtown banks in Austin and Dallas. Austin was less formal, but Dallas required a suit every day. I felt like I was choking most of the time. I'm convinced that ties cut off the blood supply to the brain, and your IQ goes up 5 points just for loosening your tie.

Posted by hgroteva at 8:56 PM

Ice and Snow


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We had quite the winter storm on Wednesday. The university declared a snow day. Like Barack, I thought that was a pretty wimpy decision ... until the sleet came. After about 8 inches of snow, we had a few hours of sleet, which quickly placed a sheet of ice right over all that new snow. Truly treacherous. I went out this morning to uncover the car that won't fit in the garage. On the roof, I could get the broom handle to go underneath the layer of ice, leaving a huge, heavy ice sheet to pull off.

Today's morning sun made for some beautiful scenes. The first one above is in our back yard, and the second one is in front. The house on which we are making an offer has a LONG, sloping driveway. I'm counting on a good plow service out there.

Posted by hgroteva at 10:36 PM

January 30, 2009

Friday Cat Blogging - Chloe and Dylan

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They're not always this lovey-dovey, but the NM cats Chloe and Dylan do have an amazingly photogenic way of curling up together. When one is already in the bed, the other has to be very discreet about requesting entry. Usually this involves literally tip-toeing in, and giving the other a good lick as a bonding gesture. Occasionally they get into a good tussle in the bed, and then they jump on the table, chase around, and make nasty sounds. Like most siblings.

Posted by hgroteva at 5:31 AM