Ritz: Shy Guy to World Class Thief

As Dante, Bumbledore, and Sandy have all had dedicated posts, it’s only fair that Ritz get one as well. However, you should read Dante’s post before this one, as I won’t be repeating much information.

Early Life

I didn’t interact much with Ritz before we abduct — erm… adopted him from “the streets.” Technically, it was an under-porch den, but that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Jim describes him as “very cautious and standoffish.”

On the day we’d planned to catch the siblings, we managed to nab Angus without too much trouble, and wrangle him into the carrier. We foolishly thought that, because they were small, we could fit them into a single carrier without much trouble. Oh, the naivete.

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Dante: Feral Kitten to “Evil Genius”

A few posts back, I wrote about silver linings, mentioning our kittens. Those two are such sweethearts. Dante and Ritz have such distinct personalities, there’s never a dull moment around the house.

In the Beginning

Dante, especially, is a unique little fruitloop. He started life as an unnamed feral kitten with 3 brothers fed by half the neighborhood. Jim, however, was one of their two primary benefactors, and decided to name them Angus, an all-black kitty; Boo, a grey tabby; Ritz, our posh tuxedo boy; and Sparky, the fancy, multicolor tabby (later Dante).

From foreground to background: Boo, Ritz, Sparky/Dante (left), Angus, and Mama Moon.
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Kudos to Etsy

With April right around the corner, the time approaches that many dread: Mother’s Day. With a deceased mother, I especially dislike the multitude of emails “reminding” me how important it is that I find the right present.

But this year, there’s a shining light of hope that I won’t have to go through this every year until I die.

I want to take a moment to applaud Etsy for being the first — that I’ve seen — to make a move that, admittedly is long overdue.

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Teleworking, 1 Year Later

As the COVID vaccine rolls out and we really start thinking about “life after COVID,” I find myself wondering what work will be like. Today marks one year since I started teleworking 100% of the time.

At first, I was concerned about it. I didn’t like working from home, mainly because I didn’t (still don’t) have a good office setup — I sit at my dining room table. Also, I was sure that the distractions and easy access to food/snacks would prove problematic for me. The lack of dual monitors struck me as an additional hurdle to leap.

It’s Not Bad, Though

As time marched on, I began to see the benefits of teleworking. My commute is seconds long. Pajama pants are perfectly acceptable. Furry coworkers are abundant.

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Unpopular Fountain Pen Opinions

Alright, I’ve got a potentially (probably) divisive post for you today. I’m sharing opinions I have that seem to be unpopular based on what I’ve seen and heard in fountain pen groups and gatherings. Let’s jump in, shall we? I’ll start slow, leaving the doozies until the end.

“Rainbow”/”Iridescent” Finish

It’s been on a lot of pens in the past couple of years, and I think it’s ugly and overpriced. From Visconti’s Rainbow Watermark to TWSBI’s Vac 700r Iris and Conklin’s Duragraph Rainbow, pens at all price points are using the colorful finish.

I don’t know what to call it. It’s not a proper rainbow — the colors aren’t in order and there isn’t a good red or purple. It’s not iridescent — the colors don’t change, or even appear to change, at different angles. Regardless, I bought a seven piece cutlery set with the same finish about 3 years ago for $11 thinking it would be super cool and ended up woefully disappointed. I definitely won’t be investing in a pen with it.

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I Learned to Drive Stick Shift

Some of you may know that I used to be terrified of driving. I didn’t get my license until a couple of months after my 29th birthday. And learning to drive really only diminished my fear, it didn’t eliminate it. In the intervening nearly 4 years, I’ve hardly driven at all. In fact, I didn’t drive on the road at all until December of last year.

That’s because we only have one car, and it has a manual transmission. Jim tried, right after I got my license, to teach me to drive stick. But, he’d driven stick for long long that it was all muscle memory for him. He had trouble explaining to me what to do. And he loves his car so much that it freaked him out when I keep stalling it out.

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Time Travel

I came across a fun writing prompt the other day. The question posed was: If you could travel back to any era, would you and which one?

My immediate thought was, “Yes, of course,” but as I thought about it, I realized there were some qualifiers.

  1. Can I come back?
  2. How long would I have to stay?
  3. Would the visit be observation only, or could I interact with the people?
  4. How well would I be prepared for the era I visited?
  5. Can I visit more than one era?
  6. What social position would I hold during my visit?
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Is Comedy “Getting Hard”?

On Saturday, I went to a comedy show. I don’t intend to mention any names in this post, as that’s not the point of this post.

I found it interesting that every performer, the openers and headliner alike, spoke some form of “comedy’s getting hard because people are more sensitive” near the beginning of their act.

Of the openers, two were received very well, and one received a lukewarm response. Thinking about the show later, I realized something crucial.

Let me pause for a moment to say I’m well aware I’m no comedian. I can’t refute comedians’ assessment that comedy is getting harder. What I can offer, however, is an outsider’s perspective of the situation.

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Necronyms

This post is a cross between genealogy research and random thoughts. As I’ve been delving back into my genealogy research, I’ve come across an increasing amount of uses of necronyms.

For those unfamiliar with the term, a necronym is a reference to, or name of, a person who has died. In this case, I’m referring to naming a child after a dead sibling. Thinking in terms of modern-day expectations, necronyms seem a little insensitive, almost like parents are simply replacing their child. However, I found reference in one of the articles I read to naming conventions and traditions. For example, there were traditions that dictated parents name their eldest son after his paternal grandfather. So if that son were to die, the next son born would be given the same name. 

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Genealogy Terminology

I’ve started working on my ancestry research again. I’m currently researching the Dutch side of my family right now.

It’s been a year or two since I researched that branch. While I remembered some of the terminology used on official documents, I’d forgotten some, too. And, of course, I’ve come across some new terms as well.

Google Translate is great, but it only goes so far. Sometimes, it even gives you translations that are obviously, and hilariously, wrong. For example:

Translation exampleFor the record, the highlighted portions should be “Sheriff &” and “appeared” (as in, appeared before me) respectively.

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