Two kittens left

John‘s mum returned to Houston on Monday. As the three remaining kittens had not yet been adopted we took drastic measures. John managed to grab them from under her house yesterday morning and took them to the Houston Wellness Clinic where they had checkups and tests and defleaing and deworming, etc., etc. He then brought them . . . yes . . . home. Here we go again. This time we have them in a large cage. Note the webcam on the right of the page. They are very scared. Just imagine, in one day they were taken away from their mother, went for their first drive, had needles stuck in them, and were brought to a strange house with two strange cats, one of which is not at all happy with the situation.

I placed some online ads in Craig’s List and the Chronicle and the Greensheet. Amazingly enough, two sisters responded to the Greensheet ad and came by this morning. They took the ginger one for their father whose 19-year-old Siamese has just died. So we now have two left. Both girls. John is getting attached to the grey one and is talking about keeping her. Not good. Our apartment is too small for three cats.

So, once again I ask . . . kittens anyone?

She said "yes"!

Almost a scoop. Nick proposed to Martha in the Scottish Highlands over the weekend. “Despite the rain and the prospect of becoming a fully paid up member of the Habershon clan, she did say yes.”

Congratulations, Martha and Nick! And to make up for the fact that I found out about this on Facebook, you will have to furnish with some exclusive engagement pictures.

Who wants a webcam?

Would any of you Habs like to host a webcam on John‘s server can easily handle the uploads (about once every two minutes).

All you would need is the following:

1. A broadband connection
2. A computer that can always be left on (if it runs Windows XP or Vista he can tell you exactly how to set up the software).
3. A window with any kind of view at all within about 25 feet of your computer.
4. A webcam (duh)

Here are some other (geeky) things that John says you might want to keep in mind. I’m quoting him now:

I don’t think this would work very well with a laptop computer — they generate a lot of heat in a small space and l would not recommend leaving it on all the time. Leaving a desktop computer on all the time will not hurt it. However, it will consume more electricity this way. An average PC is likely to consume 60-90 watts when idle (with the monitor off or in sleep mode).

Running the webcam all the time will use up some of your CPU resources. I can tell you how to minimize this as much as possible. If you have a fairly new computer (less than 2-3 years old, therefore it will have a reasonably fast CPU) this won’t be a problem. If you have a dual- or quad-core CPU it definitely won’t be a problem. On my new quad-core machine in my office, one of the four cores runs at about 5% all the time because of the single webcam I run off it. On the much slower and out-of-date single-core PC that’s in the bedroom (hooked up to a flat panel TV to allow access to the house digital media server over the network), the one CPU core runs constantly at about 20%. On my office PC, I don’t even notice the load, even while doing something CPU-intensive such as playing a newer game. On the bedroom PC, it still plays hi-def video over the network, plays music, surfs the web, etc. without any problem — but the webcam would cause a noticeable slowdown if you were playing a 3-D game, doing video editing, or something else similarly CPU-intensive.

So there you go. The offer’s out there. Just think! Between us we could all keep an eye on the burglars.

John's new bicycle

A year after his bike was stolen, John now has a new one. It’s a little different. The tyres are narrower, the gear numbers are on the handlebars, and it has MUDGUARDS! He was leery of looking dorky with mudguards, but the price was too good to pass up. Anyway, it’s almost paid for itself already in petrol savings. We run most of our errands on bicycles now — grocery shopping, cat sitting, etc. And the shed stays locked.

The picture was taken on our weekend trail route around Buffalo Bayou near downtown.

No square eyes here

What an amazing Wimbledon final yesterday. I figure it started at 8 a.m. and finished at 3:15 p.m. Houston time, including the rain delays. After that, the Astros got into a marathon against the Braves, losing in the 17th inning.

I could have been watching television all day, and am glad I didn’t. Too much to do around here.

UPDATE: Clare writes that she and Al were fortunate enough in the lottery to get Centre Court seats for the Womens Final. Here‘s her view of Serena and Venus Williams battling it out.

Another habit broken

On January 21st, 2007 I made it through my first Bikram class without drinking water. Since then I’ve made it through every class (except for the teacher training, where that never happened) without drinking. But I’ve always kept my water bottle by my mat, just in case. It was much too difficult to leave it outside the room.

This morning I was running late and took the 10 o’clock class instead of the 8 o’clock. It must have thrown my routine off, because after the Eagle pose I realized that I’d left my water bottle outside on the shelf with my shoes and carkeys. My first instinct was to run out and grab it, but I kept still and decided to go through the class without it. Piece o’ cake. After the first momentary panic I never gave it another thought.

So perhaps this is the next phase of my yoga practice. Bikram Yoga without water! Just me and my mat. Nice and unencumbered.