Help Benny

Benny, just waking up

Benny, just waking up

This is Benny, our neighborhood cat. She just woke up, and in exchange for this picture she demanded that I give her ears a good scratch. Never let it be said that I don’t reciprocate. Anyway, it turns out she’s about to have a litter. Benny is a small cat, entirely too sweet for her own good, and I’m totally at a loss for what to do. Despite my hard hearted, cynical nature, and against my own advice, I’ve become attached to the cat. Hell, if we weren’t allergic, Shannon has already confirmed that Benny would be our cat.

Now that’s she’s having kittens, I’m worried about her. Yes, I know she’s a semi-wild animal now, and that she can fend for herself, but I don’t want her to. I want her life, and her kittens, to be relatively safe. I know there are “friends of neighborhood cat” websites, and I do have a friend who is a vet, but do people have other advice? And when Benny’s kittens are old enough, who wants one? She is, without a doubt in my mind, the sweetest cat I have ever met (sorry Matthew). I can only imagine her kittens will share her demeanor.

Benefits of a Short Commute

I live a hop, skip and a jump away from work. It is an insanely short distance–about a mile–that has opened up a number of possibilities for me. For instance, if I lack motivation, I can sleep in and get to work at 9. If I am feeling supermotivated (or under the gun) I can get to work at 8.

What has dawned on me is the middle road. I can get up early, putz around the apartment, and get to work at 8:30. Like today: I am having a leisurely breakfast, complete with coffee and juice, before heading out the door. My putzing doesn’t have to stop at blogging and breakfast. Oh no. I can–and want to–start doing more physical activity.

I could bike to work. I could work out–whatever that entails–then shower and get to work at 9. I could, and should, develop a better routine. Given that my brother is looking to change his lifestyle, I figure I can do the same. The cool thing about my system of change? I have a triathlete on my side.

Ask A Bastard Edition: Condo Question


My cousin Jack, who used to blog, asked this question: Why are you selling your apartment? Isn’t it a historically bad time to do something like that?

We’re selling now because we need to. While there are a number of variables that we could deal with (mortgage rates, dealing with equity, credit cards etc) we need to live simply and save money. Given that we’re working on one income now–and the nature of all of my debts–the best thing to do is cut losses and sell.

Yes, it is a bad time to sell ESPECIALLY if sell at the height-of-the-bubble-values. Given we are selling at market rates, I’m comfortable with the decision. Hell, we get at least six showings a week. Someone is bound to buy the place.

List Post

Today the blogosphere is awash in List Posts.  Darren, from the Build a Better Blog is teaching us to do list posts. Fair enough.

Top Three Reasons Why List Posts Will Not Help My Writing:

  • Lists are a tool, not a product

One can make lists of supporting and critical evidence.  Lists can be used to help frame a discussion.  Lists neither make the argument nor facilitate discussions.  Lists are, in my opinion, part one of a post.

  • Lists Oversimplify Issues

Lists are organizational tools to help define salient points.  They are used to divide complex issues into east-to-understand snippets.  One can make a list of topics to include in a particular project–and there by help expand one’s message–but  a list cannot convey the necessary nuance to make a cogent argument.  Modern living is a complex thing.  I recognize the need to simplify these issues, but ideas, thoughts and feelings need to be synthesized into something more than just a list.

  • Lists encourage lazy responses

Give me a list of things I am supposed to do, I’ll give you a list of reasons why I agree, why I shouldn’t do it or why I couldn’t complete the task at hand.  I believe this is a rather common response.  I recognize that people are busy, but I believe we should try and raise the bar for discourse.

  • Lists are Business Speak

This is an idea I’m stealing from Lauren. Lists are simple and easy ways for business folk to market ideas (and their authors) with a minimum of effort.

I understand the “List Post” is a fast and clean way to get information across. I recognize that they are an important tool for communication. I do not really see how this is the best idea for a better blog assignment. Am I missing the point here?

Ask A Bastard: Not Completely Fictious


Welcome, dear readers, to another installment of Ask A Bastard. Today we have three questions.

The Lovely Shannon ask, “What the hell is WTT:RP? How are you going to balance between two blogs?”

WTT:RP is a group blog about my primary hobby these days: World of Warcraft. I will balance this other blog project by working on OPB first and relying on my co-authors to help ensure one post per weekday. Also, I’m participating in the “build a better blog project.” Given that this project is about blogging, and OPB is my primary blog, all of my blogging assignments will start here.

I also plan on increasing my coffee intake.

Lauren, from WTT:RP AND  Something French Sounding
Dear Bastard: Where did my motivation go? How can I get it back?
PS, how many vacuumed cats equal one hour of productivity?

Lauren your motivation has fled to the steppes of Mongolia, to wander with the wild ponies and the famed horse riding conquerors of Asia and Eastern Europe. Sadly, your motivation will not comeback until you have reframed your life to one of War and Conquest. This means the following:

  • You will need to make Paperclip Bows and Arrows
  • You need a fuzzy hat
  • You need to get a My Little Pony Action figure

Now, take your to do list and rewrite at is: “Things I will Conquer Today.” Once you have completed ten items, you may refer to yourself as Khan. You must complete these tasks wearing the fuzzy hat. Anyone who impedes your conquest must be eliminated with your bow. When you need to make a get away, throw the pony at them. Also, don’t be afraid to scale walls. If any of your coworkers disagree with your practices, enslave them.

As for the Cat Vacuum, the ultimate in measuring slacker-productivity, I think 1/4 of a cat equals one hour of real productivity. 1/2 of that 1/4 (so 1/8) is finding a good vacuum. The other 1/8 is catching said cat to vacuum. The rest of that first hour (3/4) is making sure the cat is placated. The cat must be constantly placated to ensure vacuuming can continue. Cat Vacuuming is difficult work.

LazyJade, from Rapture and WTT:RP asks:
“What’s the difference between Chicago Marty and Three Lakes Marty.”

Chicago Marty is wired into the world with an iPhone, laptop and a half dozen different applications running in the background. Chicago Marty attempts to juggle all sorts of projects: Personal, professional and hobby related. Chicago Marty struggles to keep his temper in check and shouts too much when he drives. Biologically speaking, Chicago Marty’s blood pressure is about twenty points higher than Three Lakes Marty.

Three Lakes Marty is calmer and more willing to cook than Chicago Marty. Three Lakes Marty hates phones and will only use an iPod for music. Three Lakes Marty also hates Jet Skis and is willing to entertain terrible ideas to get rid of them.

Three Lakes marty is concerned with tradition and will often pray to the Yaqui Gods Of Wisdom for guidance.

Three lakes Marty is also 50% more like to be hung over than Chicago Marty.

(Chicago Marty is frequently jealous of Three Lakes Marty)

That is all for this edition of Ask a Bastard. Ask more questions and I’ll invent more answers.