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We said goodbye to that old Mama Cat this morning. Something happened a couple of weeks ago and she faded awfully fast. Up until now, she wasn't in pain, just weak, but that changed.
Commandeering the House Blond's brand new Builder Bear bed
Even though she isn't really gray, she used to be the Gray Kitty (we're not really that good at naming cats). When she got older her name sort of morphed into the Mama Cat. Had more to do with seniority than maternal instincts, she bossed around every cat we owned like Gunny Hartman in Full Metal Jacket. She was tough, too. She once smacked a rattlesnake so many times that the snake was punch drunk. A dozen times, her paw literally a cartoon-like blur.
Kent & The Gray Kitty circa 1995 at Casa de Snell in Lake Elsinore
She came from White Cat's first litter around 1995 or so. A couple of years later, The White Cat would alert us that The Boy wasn't breathing upstairs.
Jacob & Gray Kitty 2003 (that cat liked stuffed animals and dolls)
She liked her food freshly killed or dry out of the bag. You could not tempt this cat with salmon, fresh cream, steak, or Fancy Feast. She'd turn up her nose at all of it. Except tuna juice. Tuna juice is the water that canned tuna is packed in. Not the tuna, the water, and she'd happily lap up all the tuna juice you cared to give her. Her last meal was tuna juice yesterday, but this morning she turned away from it without remark.
Snoozin' With a Cabage Patch Kid, February 2006
I'd like to bury her under the orange tree with the other cats who've left us, but I don't think we're getting her back.
The sunset in Nevada as seen from our hotel room in Arizona. We claimed this protected cove on Lake Mojave (MoHahvee) as our own for four days. Two of those days witnessed gale force winds and chop out on the main body of the lake that rivaled the Pacific Ocean between Catalina Island and Long Beach Harbor.
The kids were beat after a long ride up the lake to Hoover Dam that included wake boarding, tubing, and burgers at Willow Beach.
Thanks to serious winter snowpack, Lake Mojave is completely full which also meant that all the beaches in this cove were under water except ours.
The wine comes with a gorgeous red label and a great story. The wine itself is a blend of Syrah, Zinfandel, Merlot, and, apparently, several ounces of artificial vanilla extract.
Lately it seems that TWC's old nemesis, the cloying, semi-sweet, red cherry flavor one finds in many inexpensive red wines, has been sidelined and replaced with an obsessive overuse of oak. As many of you know, aging wine in oak barrels adds a subtle vanilla flavor as well as some tannins to red wine. French Oak is more subtle than American Oak. Either is more subtle than emptying a bag of oak chips into the vat of aging wine.
Granted, the pleasure of wine is very subjective and, perhaps, I'm oversensitive to oak in wine. Honestly, though. I can't drink this wine. Decanting helped, but not enough.
The Apothic Red is just under ten dollars US. There are quite a few wines in that range that are worth your while. I'd pass on this one. Your mileage may vary.
What's the rule? The quality of the wine is inversely proportional to the cool factor of the label. Not always, but often.
Apothic Red reveals intense fruit aromas and flavors of rhubarb and black cherry that are complemented by hints of mocha, chocolate, brown spice and vanilla. The plush, velvety mouthfeel and smooth finish round out this intriguing, full-bodied red blend.
EDIT: The Apothic Red puts me in the mind of offerings from the Phillips Brothers (Seven Deadly Zins). Too much vanilla for moi, but somebody is buying the wine and likes it. Hope that helps put this in perspective.
Mrs TWC was in Salt Lake City and the kids had been looking forward to test driving the burgers at the new Five Guys down the hill for a couple of weeks. Five Guys is new to us, but it's a national chain that, despite the recession, plans to open two hundred stores by the end of 2011.
We walked in about rush hour on a week night. The place was well staffed and clean. The help (they are *not* associates) was friendly and helpful. The service was good and our order was up in jig time.
The cheeseburger was tasty in an old-fashioned kind of way, and was obviously made with fresh ingedients. You get to have it your way, too, by choosing from an extensive menu of condiments and extra goodies like lettuce, onions, & tomato at no extra charge.
The cheeseburger reminded me of how Wendy's burgers used to taste when Dave Thomas was making good burgers thirty years ago. I absolutely hated the fries, but that's just me. This Dude does not abide seasoned fries. No matter, I don't eat fries anyway. My kids? They were fine with the fries.
Pricey. No value menu here. Expect to spend 25% more than similar hamburger joints. We spent $22.00 for three burgers, two drinks, and one order of fries large enough to feed a 10th grade boys gym class. The same mix of menu items at Farmer Boys comes in at just over $16.00. Even less at In-N-Out, but the Five Guys burger is larger.
TWC understands why people use a treadmill, he spent an hour on the treadmill this morning hisself. I'm thinkin' yours may be more hi-tech.
Though not oppressive, the heat was evident early. Hot and silent. No off-roaders, no shooters, no booming bass, nobody. Except for a few industrious water bugs and five or six straggler bees, none of the local wildlife disturbed the cool quiet of the creek bottom, which lies in the shade cast by sixty foot sycamores and spreading oaks that were already old a century ago
Over there in the light is mostly poison oak. Hot tip: don't go to the light. My dad is so allergic to poison oak that if he even looks at it he ends up doing a very believable impression of a third-degree burn victim
Best thing about my gym is that Blackie can use the treadmill right near the drinking fountain.
Whole lotta Rosé? Heavy metal veterans AC/DC move into the wine business.
Ooops. The headline writer got the wrong heavy metal band. A mixed-up mixed metaphor.
Expecting to capitalize on the public's fascination with celebrities and cool, kitschy labeling the wines will be named after.....
.....the band’s most famous hits, including Back in Black Shiraz, Highway to Hell Cabernet Sauvignon, Hells Bells Sauvignon Blanc and You Shook Me All Night Long Moscato.
TWC expects that his universal law will apply; the quality of the wine is inversely proportional to the cool factor of the label. Additional evidence? The Back in Black Boys teamed up with Warburn Estate Wines. Warburn offers some premium wine, but their market niche tends to be the inexpensive wine rack.
Several of my tax clients have received scam emails recently which, at first glance seem to be from IRS (sample follows). Please know that IRS *never* emails anyone. If you receive an email from IRS you should immediately delete it. If IRS has a problem with your tax return, IRS will send you a letter via the USPS to the address shown on your tax return.
Please note the misspelled words and incorrect usage of terms.
From: info manager [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, August 11, 2011 5:24 PM
To: Joe Sixpack
Subject: IRS notification
Department of Treasury
Internal Revenue Source
Important information about your tax return
We are unable to process your tax return
We recived your tax return. However, we are unable to process the return as field.
Our records indicate that the person identifiedas the primary taxpayer or spouse on the tax return did not provided all the required documents shown on the tax form. Our records are based on information received from the Social Security Administration.
Based on this information, the tax account for the individual has been locked
What you need to do
Print out the attached notification and list of missing documents, fill it in, add the documents and send the following information to the adress shown in the attached notification.
List of required documents:
1. A copy of this letter
2. Notification letter
3. A photocopy of valid U.S. Federal or State Government issued identification.
Keep this notice for your records.
If you need assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us