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Somewhere in Tennessee

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I have no idea where this was, other than “somewhere between Bryson City, NC and Alcoa, TN” as I was on my way from the former to the latter.  I stopped at a pullout (trying and settle my stomach, queasy from over two hours of steep winding road) and I snapped this pic with my cell phone. I saw a sign that the stretch of road I was on is known as “Tail of the Dragon” — I just looked it up and apparently there are 318 curves in 11 miles, so it is a favorite of motorcyclists. Me, not so much… but it sure was pretty.

Happy Holidays

Our 2008 Tree
2008 Christmas album

OK, it’s a few days late but here’s a small gallery from this year. We scaled things down quite a bit; neither of the dogs are really into toys any more so Lindsy got a gingerbread man from Whitman’s bakery, both dogs got some ham and turkey we brought back from Joy’s family celebration. The cats got an assortment of fur mice and another toy made locally of hand-felted wool.; they also had some smoked salmon bits for breakfast. Cricket has a weakness for catnip mice so we figured part of her gift would be to turn a blind eye to her stealing one or two (we bought extra with this in mind) of the cats’ presents.

We both got off work a bit early on the 24th and had some really tasty spiced mead from Fox Hill Meadery that evening, and spent mostof the evening watching Winter break into to the gift bag… apparently she decided not to wait until Christmas morning. The funny thing is that what she decided to steal was Lindsy’s gingerbread, which she wrestled out of the bag, carried to a corner, and tried to ‘kill.’ We put it back and she just went right back to the bag until we finally had to put it out of reach. The next morning when I gave Lindsy her cookie (which she loved!) I gave a tiny piece to Winter and she sniffed it in disgust, then stared at me distainfully. Apparently gingerbread is only desirable when acquired illegally.

Video: Merry Christmas from Bailey the Unknown Reindeer

Apologies to those who perhaps aren‘t having quite this much fun with all the snow they’ve gotten. Joy found this the other day and we thought it was pretty neat, though it kind of wears you out just watching it.

Unexpected houseguest

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This is a cedar waxwing that I found injured in our fenced area we made for the cats. It was starting to rain and I went out to make sure everyone was inside before closing the door, and this little guy was laying upside down and unconscious in a pile of feathers. I don’t think any of the cats got him — it looks like he might have hit the fence. He’s recouperating in a dark box on a snuggle safe and seems to be coming around.

Update 12-22-2008: The waxwing survived overnight and appeared to regain most of his coordination, but since he was still a bit wobbly, we were worried one of the neighbor’s cats would get him if we released him. Yesterday we took him to a local wildlife rehabilitator; if he’s not ready to be on his own, she would be able to care for him much better than we can , and she also had a much safer place to release him.

Well, that sucked.

The Lunesta experiment ended after two days. The first day I slept mostly through the night… I woke up a few times but always got back to sleep. I did wake up with a terrible bitter taste in my mouth and a headache throughout the next day, and to be honest it might have been sheer exhaustion that made me sleep. The next night I took it, I woke up around three, was awake for most of the rest of the night, the bitter taste was a bazillion times worse, and I experienced the worst headache I have ever had in my entire life.

Making things more interesting was the fact that I had a particularly gnarly problem setting up an install in Morganton the next day; it took about four hours when it should have taken less than two, and I had to troubleshoot that issue while barely being able to think. The problem ended up being a bad-right-out-of-the-box router, and I did manage to resolve it — without letting on to the client that what I really wanted to do was curl up in a fetal position under her desk, whimpering. I came straight home and spent pretty much the rest of the day and night in bed, trying to lay down without my head actually touching anything, and concentrating on not vomiting. Everything looked all out of focus and shimmery and every noise felt like someone was trying to bore into my head with a screwdriver. Not fun.

The next day I looked up Lunesta side effects and found that both the headache and the bitter taste were known side effects, and I also found this site which pretty much scared me away from ever taking it again even if I hadn’t already been afraid of the headache.  Plan B was supposed to be a double dose of Ambien, which (at the lower dose) has previously done nothing for me, but I am sort of afraid of that too. And plan C involved another prescription of something much stronger that would probably leave me groggy afterwards.

I spent Thursday and Friday working in Tennessee and racked up over 24 hours between the two days, so last night not sleeping wasn’t an issue — I was completely wiped out.  Joy thinks we should use the overtime I’ve gotten the past few weeks to pay for an appointment with an accupunturist or something like that. I am not sure if that would help but at least it wouldn’t be tinkering with my brain chemistry. If nothing else, I think I’d rather feel like crap because I hadn’t slept than risk playing around with any more sedative/hypnotic drugs.