An update on Phoebe

phoebeup

A whole lot of animal lovers read Root Simple, and so we get a lot of inquires about how our special cat, Phoebe, is doing. Because we know so many people care–and at risk of making this a maudlin sick pet blog–we wanted to let you know she’s in the hospital tonight (Monday night) and will probably be there most of tomorrow. She started having trouble breathing today, and needs to spend some time in a box full of oxygen, while her genius veterinarian, Dr. Zimmerman, does some tests and re-jiggers her treatment program.

Phoebe is in heart failure–and has been for almost two years now. That’s a really good run for a cat born with a ridiculous handbag for a heart. We can’t hope for too much more. It is possible that her heart simply can’t function well enough any more to sustain her, but we’re hoping that an adjustment of her meds will buy her a few more good months, and we’ll be able to bring her home tomorrow night. We won’t know until tomorrow.

It’s hard to leave a pet behind in a vet’s office, even such a good vet. Poor Phoebe will be sleeping in big plexiglass box with oxygen inputs and hand-holes, like The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. But she was looking mightily pissed off instead of sickly by the time we left, which means she felt much more herself. And at least we know she won’t be suffering tonight, fighting for air.

Now we are home with our other two cats, Trout and Buck, collectively known as the boys. Compared to them, Phoebe is a silent shadow, the most invisible of cats. Yet tonight, the house seems quiet and empty, even though the boys are galloping around in circles like idiots, yowling, like they always do this time of night. Without us realizing it, Phoebe quietly filled up a big space in our house. It’s the same in our hearts.

Saturday Linkages: Cheese Powder and Torpedo Bikes

Cheese powder anyone?

Cheese powder anyone?

Cheese powder: What is it?: http://boingboing.net/2013/11/14/cheese-powder-what-is-it.html …

Heat Your Clothes, Not Your House http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2013/11/heat-your-clothes-not-your-house.html …

Heat Your Desk, Not Your Office http://www.notechmagazine.com/2013/11/heat-your-desk-not-your-office.html …

Bog Butter: Storing Food in Soil http://www.notechmagazine.com/2013/11/bog-butter-storing-food-in-soil.html …

Appeal to American Children to Encourage Monsanto to Safeguard Monarch Butterflies: http://garynabhan.com/i/archives/2354 

17 Better Ways to Waste Your Money Than On This Crowdfunded “Flying Car” http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/17-better-ways-to-waste-your-money-than-this-crowdfunde-1458308873 …

Berlin workshop on “Unpleasant Design”: urban design that bullies it users: http://boingboing.net/2013/11/11/berlin-workshop-tomorrow-on.html …

It’s Time to Rethink America’s Corn System http://ensia.com/voices/its-time-to-rethink-americas-corn-system/ …

Cheese powder: What is it?: http://boingboing.net/2013/11/14/cheese-powder-what-is-it.html …

My Vintage Apron Collection http://hencam.com/thevintagehen/2013/11/my-vintage-apron-collection/ …

1913 : Torpedo Bike http://www.retronaut.com/2013/11/torpedo-bike/ …

For these links and more, follow Root Simple on Twitter:

It’s official: I’m a Ham

How blog posts will be issued from now on. Image: Library of Congress.

How blog posts will be issued from now on. Image: Library of Congress.

It’s been on my to-do list for years–get my ham radio licence. I took a six week class offered by the Pasadena Radio Club to study for the technician class licence and on a whim crammed for the general class. I passed both tests and as of yesterday am now also known as KK6HUF.

Many thanks to W6MES, who volunteered his time to teach the class and to the major memory system for helping with all those numbers. It was a lot of fun to review basic math and electronics.

So why do this in an age of Skype and cellphones? I find the DIY ethos of ham radio empowering. We are surrounded by electronic devices and it’s good to know a little something about what’s going on “under the hood.” I wish I had discovered amateur radio when I was younger–I might have struggled with math less had I had a hobby to motivate studying.

My interest in appropriate technology was another reason. There is a ham I met online who is constructing a website that will be of interest to readers of this blog–he was inspired by John Michael Greer’s writing on ham radio. I’ll share that website when it’s ready to go public.

Passing the test was easy, but I’ve got a lot of work to do. I have no radio, nor do I have any experience using one. And I’d like to learn morse code. I’m all ears if any of you have advice.