Baby Cheetah

Wikipedia article on Egyptian protests

If you’re looking for a pretty decent timeline of what’s been going on in Egypt, look no further than Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Egyptian_protests

Haven’t seen anything else as comprehensive so far.  (I shouldn’t have been surprised when I found it, it makes sense that a collaborative site like Wikipedia would have a continuously updated page on an international event like this.)

What boggles my mind a bit is that if your citizenry has taken to the streets to demand your removal, why would you think that firing the rest of the government and appointing a Vice President would make everything OK and all would go home?  I’m also guessing that it’s a touch unnerving to have the people of your country stop being afraid of you.

Originally posted at CafeChatNoir.net.
Baby Cheetah

Little Lily just ain’t right in the head…

Lily has been a bit touched in the head the past few days.  It could be that the snow days have thrown off our late afternoon I’m-home-from-work snuggle sessions on the couch.  It could be that Spot’s unannounced visit is causing her a bit of the emotional agita.  Perhaps she’s mad that the box o’ crickets aren’t for her.  Or she could just be off her little tortie kitty rocker thanks to the snow – or her just being her.

Our kitchen is of a very generous size, but horrid design.  It’s basically a wide galley, but all the working parts are on one side.  (Seriously, the kitchen at the house we rent at the beach is better designed, and if has less than half the square footage.)  There is a counter on the non-working side, and while the kits aren’t technically allowed on *any* kitchen counter, they seem to know it’s slightly less bad to jump up on the “non-working” side – which also has the dog food & various animal treats on it.

I swear, for the past four days, every time I walk into the kitchen, Lily is on the counter on the non-working side.  It goes something like this:

“LILY!  Get down!”
“MIAU!”
“Seriously, GET DOWN”
“MIAU!”
*pick up cat, unceremoniously dump on floor*
“MIAU, MIAU, MIAU!!”
“How tall are you today?”
*stands on back feet, gets many head rubs and compliments on height*
“MIAU, MIAU, MIAU!!”

Seriously, I’d swear she was part Siamese for how mouthy she is.

If it’s not me walking in on her in the kitchen, it’s something like this:

*Cindy watches TV or reads a book*
*CRASH*
“DAMMIT, LILY GET DOWN!!!!!”
“MIAU!”
*Repeat multiple times over the course of the day*

Seriously, she gets tons of food, water, treats and attention.  She’s hardly neglected.  And yet, if you asked her, NO ONE LOVES HER!

Originally posted at CafeChatNoir.net.
Baby Cheetah

I think Dominion Power did OK.

This storm was MUCH worse than anyone anticipated – no one realized it was going to be nasty, wet, heavy snow that would bring down tree limbs at every other house in Northern Virginia and cause transformers to blow all over the place.

Saw an short article today saying that Dominion says they could have done better with communication.

Our power went out at 8:45 Wednesday evening.  I immediately reported the outage online and the initial reply was that they were still in assessment mode and couldn’t give a restoration estimate.  Perfectly understandable, given that they had 200,000 customers without power.  I opted for a callback at anytime with an update.  At about 4AM I got an automated call saying the restoration window would be Noon to 6PM on Thursday.  When I got up on Thursday, I checked online and saw that it had been updated to 7AM to 1PM.  (I missed the second update call.)

At 12:20, our power came back on.

I felt that they did fine with communication in my situation.  When they restoration window was established, they called me.  When it changed, they called me.  (Even though I missed it.)  I was able to look online and see those estimates as well.

I’m really not sure they could have done anything else to communicate better with me.

Originally posted at CafeChatNoir.net.
Baby Cheetah

More snow thoughts…

– I like light, fluffy, easy to shovel snow.  I do not like this heavy, wet, nasty crap.

– I STILL wish that my Mom had gotten a gas range instead of the smooth cooktop when she remodeled the kitchen.

– This neighborhood doesn’t lose power very often.  I have really gotten spoiled.

– Being without power for 15 1/2 hours sucks.  For anyone whose power has been out longer, that has to REALLY suck.  You have my condolences.

– If I have to sleep with no heat again, I need to remember to throw my jeans and shirt under the covers, because very cold jeans aren’t particularly comfortable to put on in the morning.

– Next August, I am getting a damn snowblower.  Unlike last August, when I said to myself, “No, it’s silly and excessive and an overreaction to one bad winter.”  I do not need a giant industrial version, just something to make storm cleanup a touch easier.

– I will also remember to get the water balloon slingshot when they are on sale so I can knock the snow from the tops of the cypresses in the backyard from the office window.

– A generator might be nice, but that may be going over the top.

– Since the power has returned, Carmen & Lily have been taking turns sleeping in front of the heat register.

– Many, MANY thanks to the custodian that let me in to retrieve Spot the Gecko.  I suppoose she decided it best to not get in the way of a crazy woman on a mission to rescue a small animal.  It helps that “I’m a sub this week and next and need to get the classroom gecko!” would be a very odd thing to just make up.

– I have a leopard gecko for the next 5 days.  I’ve read the care sheets online, but if anyone has any fun or interesting information that might be helpful, I’d like that.

Originally posted at CafeChatNoir.net.
Baby Cheetah

Oh, we’re having some fun now…

The snow started at about 3:30 and it’s been going like gangbusters and it’s heavy, heavy, wet snow.

School was cancelled for tomorrow at 7:30 PM.

It has taken one of my friends a good 5 hours to get home.

The power just went out a few minutes ago – there are now 107K people without power in the county.  I doubt we’ll have it back anytime soon given that the transformers over the hill have been exploding.

We have a tree down in the backyard – of course, it went into our neighbor’s yard.  Fortunately, thanks to it being a rather light and bendy tree (despite it’s overall size) it is resting gently on the fence.  I do not own a chainsaw.  There is another tree leaning a bit – we knocked off as much snow as we could, but I’m guessing it’s going to go over as well.  That one is at least facing the yard.  And the house…

I can’t say I remember a snowstorm that did this much damage this quickly.  Thunderstorms, yes, but not snowstorms.  And it’s supposed to keep snowing until midnight.  Yay.

Originally posted at CafeChatNoir.net.
Baby Cheetah

We have a snow day!

And a great example of why kids think adults are idiots.  I’ve got 5th graders this week and next week, and yesterday before dismissal I gave them the big speech about “don’t count on a snow day, it’s going to be rain and then change to snow much later in the day, so do your homework.”  Fast forward 14 hours, we have an impressive amount of sleet and a day off.  I’m sure their parents also said, “She may be a substitute, but your teacher is right, now do your homework.”

Now, while I’m sure some of the kids are happy they have the day totally free to do whatever they want because they did their homework last night, I’m quite certain there is a large segment of the student population thinking, “WHY did I bother with my homework last night???  The adults didn’t know ANYTHING.”

This is why Jack Weinberg said, “Don’t trust anyone over 30.”

During the break in the weather this afternoon, I headed up to the market.  We need milk.  Not because it is snowing, but because we are out of milk as of today – I would have been hitting the store no matter what.  However, it would seem that a LOT of people in the neighborhood had the exact same idea of taking advantage of the weather pause.

Now, when I am at the store and I know we’ve got snow coming, I find I can’t just get the one or two things that are on my list.  All semblance of good nutrition and meal planning go completely out the window.  I suddenly want things absolutely crammed with fat, calories, carbohydrates and any other thing that is particularly unhealthy.  It’s like I’m bit possessed as I roam the aisles.  Fixings for cheese dip!  More stock for cheese grits!  Mexican cheese for tacos for dinner!  Decent tortillas!!  (Why I bought Piñata tortillas the last time I was out is beyond me.)  Kielbasa!  Potatoes!  Cinnamon bread for French toast!  Taquitos!  Mini chocolate frosted donuts!  (Those just appeared in my cart.  I don’t know how they got there.  Some 3 year old must have tossed them in and run away.)

Knowing that this nutritional debacle was looming ahead for the next 24 hours, I did at least have a salad for lunch.

In other snow related thoughts, I have found that in my role as substitute teacher, I am happy to defend snow days.  Yes, I do like the bonus day off – I am human after all.  Yes, I know it totally screws up things for parents, especially with so many families with both parents working.  However, I am fairly certain that on days like this, the Superintendent doesn’t get up at 4AM and dial VDOT for road conditions thinking, “Let’s see how many people I can completely and utterly inconvenience today!”

There are employees that are already en route to work by 5AM, so they’ve got to make the call by 4:30.  If the roads are crap, they can push it back 2 hours if they really think things will improve, but if it’s still crap at 6:30 – the day is done.  Lots of teens drive themselves to work.  Do you enjoy being on the road with 17 years olds on a GOOD day, much less in sleet?  I didn’t think so. :)

I was up at 6:30 this morning – still too much sleet to be safe at that point, and I’m sure it was much worse out in the western part of the county.  We had some rain in the middle of the day today, but it’s just now turned to a snow/sleet mix again – right when the buses would be back on the roads trying to get the elementary school kids home.  I think the closing was a good call today.

Originally posted at CafeChatNoir.net.