The Dysmey Blog
The personal weblog of Andy West.

May 2009
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Spring Vacation 2009, Part I
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 9:43 pm


Monday was very busy.


It promises to rain tomorrow, so I put up the new gutter on the back of the house this afternoon.

I had wanted to start this morning, especially as the folks let me use one of their vans to transport the gutters and downspout and other items needed for assembly. The gutters and downspout are ten feet long, and would not fit in my car, hence the need for a van. Even then, the gutters fit in the van only just.

I could not start the project until noon because I spent all morning trying to get the folks’ damnable new router (a) to communicate with the Internet at all, and (b) to communicate with the wireless printer. I could not do the latter, so it had to be put to the side until I can make time for it later this week.

I gathered the following parts for the project from Lowe’s in Marion:

gutter 3, 10 ft catches water from roof and channels it to drop outlet
downspout 1, 10 ft catches water from gutter and channels it to ground
drop outlet 1 catches water from gutter into downspout
slip joint 2 connects two gutters together
outside cap 1 caps open end of gutter
inside cap 1 caps open end of drop outlet
bracket 13 screwed to fascia, supports gutter
elbow joint 1 diverts downspout water away from house
connector 1 connects downspout to elbow joint
downspout bracket 1 clamps downspout to wall of house
wood screw 25 secures brackets, slip joints and drop outlets to fascia

Just like in any other project, things go wrong.

In the end the gutter came out more or less the way I wanted it. The only exception was with a middle slip joint, which was lower than the rest of the gutter. Not wanting a repeat of the original metal gutter, I rescrewed the joint a quarter inch higher. It rose the gutter, but not all that much. I got a shim from the folks and used that to push the joint up until it was level with the rest of the gutter.

The test of the new gutter will come on Wednesday, when it is supposed to rain.

The gutter project made me fifteen minutes late for the monthly meeting of the Friends of the Fairmount Public Library.


As I wrote in a past entry, Isis had to be put to sleep because she had lost all control of the back of her body.

This loss of control meant that I have had to clean the carpet in my bedroom, where Isis spent almost all of the time during her final days. I borrowed a carpet cleaner from the folks, figured out how to fill it up and work it, and cleaned the carpet in the afternoon after moving all the bedroom furniture to the living room.

I also cleaned all the cat’s stuff — food and water bowls, cat box, and carrier — and put those away for the next cat I will probably get.

I talked with my new neighbor next door. He is the brother of my former neighbor the carpenter; both of them grew up in that house. I had thought that the carpenter’s wife and kid would live there until July; that was what she told me. But evidently the plan has changed: Wife and son will live in a rental until the son finishes school, then move to Kansas to be with the carpenter.

The carpet in my bedroom was still wet four hours after the shampooing. It is dry enough to allow me to reassemble my bed. The other furniture can wait until tomorrow.

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Isis Is No Longer With Us
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 4:51 pm


For the last week or so, until Tuesday morning, I have been giving my cat Isis some different meds. The meds were more pain relief than anti-inflammatory. The meds made her a happy kitty for awhile.

However, the meds did not relieve Isis’ condition. That was getting worse. It had been difficult for Isis to walk for the past several weeks; but by yesterday it had become almost impossible for her to walk on her back legs. She could bend the legs, but could not move her hips to lift herself up, let alone walk. The condition also made for a messy utility room, for although Isis did make the effort to reach the cat box, sometimes she did not make it.

I took Isis to the vet hospital in Anderson Wednesday morning. It would be her last trip. I was told the vertebra that was causing Isis’ distress was inoperable.

At this point I had no choice but to ask that Isis be put to sleep. I was there when she passed on.

Isis was one of a litter of four kittens born about seven or eight years ago. After her mother unsuccessfully tried to cross a newly-paved main street, Isis and her sister Thyme were adopted by my niece Erin. I would take care of her when I was housesitting during summers when my sister the teacher was away.

Isis was an affectionate cat, even when she was living at the house of my sister. My sister did not like Isis (she had a habit of barfing on her books and papers), so when I moved to the new house, the cat was dumped on me.

Isis settled in quickly in her new role as indoor house cat, snoozing on the bed, sitting on my lap in the armchair, watching me from the window in the upper room as I mowed the lawn or next to me on the table as typed away. She was a very happy kitty. In return I put up with having to clean the carpet or table when she barfed on them.

The barfing stopped when I put Isis on the Iams restricted diet the local vet gave me. And she did lose several pounds, and would have become a healthier kitty if not for that tumorous vertebra.

I will miss Isis.

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