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Rock Ruminations

"The Rock" - Newfoundland's nickname, attributed to the granite and rocky landcapes which wrap around coastlines of the province. It is an affectionate term towards Newfoundland, and highlights the significance of environment. Ruminations - the act of pondering; meditation.

Friday, June 30, 2006

How Do You Say Good-Bye?

Helping Me With My Filing
Originally uploaded by mkb_nf.

Some time ago I introduced you to my cat, Natasha (see Under the (not so) watchful eye of Natasha). Well, I guess sme time has past since I first posted that entry back in July of last year.

You see at the time Natasha had a lump in her belly. I had put off getting it looked at for some time, thinking it was just a sign of age (as she was somewhere between eleven and fourteen years old). When I finally took her in last August and they checked on the mass we discovered that it was cancer. The vet removed the tumour, but it was an active mass and based on its size they gave her about a year.

That took me back a bit, but after a week or so she had returned to normal and I simply thouight that maybe she could beat the odds. Five months later another mass appeared. After consulting with the vet agin, we decided against an aggressive treatment of radition and chemo - as she was an older cat anyway and I felt that this was simply needless torture at this stage in her life. We began a treatment of a igh dose of steriods to keep her appetite intact, to keep her joints loose, and as a way to fight the cancer. For the next three months things went well, there was very little spread of the mass and only trace signs of additional masses, so it was recommended that we reduce her steriod dosage to once daily - which was good for us, as we were leaving (my first then two weeks later Lisa joined me) and we would need someone to come in and check on Natasha only daily now (instead of twice daily).

Well, when we returned two and a half weeks later the masses hd spread significantly. A month later we began to notice some changes in her appetite and her behavior, which brought us back to the vet today. After x-rays it appears that the cancer has spread to her lungs and we were told that whileshe is not in pain, there is some discomfort and we have days, maybe a week or two left with her.

For the first year and a half that I had Natasha, it was just me and her. I as living in Hull (just outside Ottawa). I only had her for a few months when I quite a good job in the Senate to move to British Columbia to run a friend's campaign. When that ended aburptly, I was unable to get back into politics at the level that I had left and spent about six weeks without a job and then another seven months in a private sector job that I did like much. During that entire time it was just me and my cat, and for the most part no one else.

After I moved back to Newfoundland I got my teaching degree one year and spent the next substitute teaching. It was at this point that I moved to Bonavista to take a teaching position there. While I had met Lisa at this stage and she would come out one out of every four to six weekends for the first year or two (which increased to once every four weekends by the third year and once every second weekend by the fourth year), again for the most part it was Natasha and I.

I can still remember coming home from school at the end of the day and she would be sitting on the back of the couch, watching the door waiting for me. I'd say "Hi girl" and she'd meow. I'd ask her how her day was and she'd meow. We'd probably keep this up for two or three minutes. If I'd lie down on the couch after supper and fall asleep watching the news, which was a regular occurance, I'd wake up with Natasha curled up in the small of my back more often than not. When I went to bed, she'd start off each night up nea my arm and would end up down by my feet by the time I woke up.

And after today, I have an unofficial cut off date in mind when if she hasn't gotten worse b this date, we'll visit the vet one last time. I know this may sound selfish, and I do know that it is best and I have no intention of letting her suffer - she simply deserves that from me for the companionship that she has given to me over the years - but I still struggle thinking about the next week or so. Knowing that for the first few days, I have writing commitments and classes and can't simply sit and scratch her head and rub her back - I just don't know what to make of it all. As you can probably tell, this is the first real pet that I will have lost. Sitting here, searching for a way to end this entry, I had hoped that writing this would help the process - not really sure if it has or not.

Tags: cat, Flickr

Monday, June 19, 2006

The New NHL

Well, it appears that my predictions were wrong (see Finals Fun and Game Seven). Carolina managed to hold on and win the cup. Kind of funny that a team that wouldn't have made it out of the first round had they not taken out the best player on the other team with an uncalled penalty. Come to think of it, a similar thing happened in round two. And to think about it a little more, didn't Carolina crashing the net (as they have done all play-offs without being called) took Edmonton's number one goalie out of the series - and won the first game for Carolina.

In any regard, the first full season of the "new" NHL is now in the books. As a life long hockey fan, I have to be honest and say that the changes that the league has made to make the game more exciting for the non-traditional American auidence has really ruined the game. And the officiating is the orst that I have seen in years. I found it somewhat funny that on NBC, the American broadcast of the game, the showed the last penalty that was called on Edmonton during the first period. Then they showed three hits where gloves, sticks, and elbows were up that Carolina made - none of which got called. I'm normally not a conspiracy kind of guy, but watching both the semi-finals in the west and the finals, it really seemed like the referees were trying to decide games to ensure an all-American final and then, when that didn't work, an Amercian cup winner.

Needless to say the best hockey I saw all year long was while I was back in Canada collecting data for my dissertation and was able to watch the entire Memorial Cup (Canadian junior hockey). At least the league hasn't been able to get its flithy hands on that and ruin it in the name of appeasing an American audience who would rather watch grass grow than hockey (I mean the finals games on NBC for the Saturday games were the least watched programs on any of the networks).

In the future, I think I'll stick to junior, minor league, and youth hockey - because the NHL is no longer the game it once was.

Tags: , ,

Game Seven

Okay, just a quick note in between transcribing and watching game seven of the Stanley Cup finals. I note that there are a few others who are finals blogging like myself (see Virtual Game One from EDITing in the Dark and Finals Blogging! from Lawyers, Guns and Money).

While I still stick by my prediction that Edmonton will come out on top, I have to be honest and say that tonight will be a close game and whoever scores first will probably win the game. It will be a tight one, kind of like game one was, kind of like game five was as well.

I'm going to say that the Oilers will win 4 to 2, which includes an empty net goal.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Is Ya Happy?

Well, I was in my Bloglines tonight and saw an entry from Cognitive Daily entitled Test your happiness. Apparently the BBC have some little quiz on their website, to test how happy you are.

It seems that I am...


People who score in this range like their lives and feel that things are going well. Of course your life is not perfect, but you feel that things are mostly good. Furthermore, just because you are satisfied does not mean you are complacent. In fact, growth and challenge might be part of the reason you are satisfied. For most people in this high-scoring range, life is enjoyable, and the major domains of life are going well - work or school, family, friends, leisure, and personal development. You can draw motivation from those areas of your life that you are dissatisfied with.
Who would have thunk it...

Tags: blog, blogging, blog

Monday, June 05, 2006

Finals Fun

Okay, so I was correct in both predictions for the semi-finals - although I was one game too many in the Edmonton series and one game short in the Carolina series (see "The time has come," the Walrus said...). So, and then there were two...

Okay, I know that this may seem like the home town pick, being a Canadian and all,but I'm going with Edmonton in six. There are a couple of reasons for this.
  1. Goaltending - while both Ward and Roulston are playing well, Ward got lite up and chased in the Buffalo series, plus at this time of the season you have to go with experience over youth.
  2. Defense - While Carolina has a bunch of unsung heros on the point, Edmonton has Chris Pronger - need I say more. To quote Edmonton's coach, "Pronger is a horse, he comes to the bench, we give him some hay and an apple and send him out again."
  3. Offense - I'll have to give the nod to Carolina on this one, but only a slight nod. They do have more talented forwards that have produced more throughout the year for them than Edmonton does. But Edmonton's group of nobodies has proven themselves against some high powered offenses thus far, and veterans like Peca have really stepped their game up when needed. Plus Pronger is the only defense in the top twenty scoring in the league this year.

But overall, like I said about Edmonton in the last series, regardless of how the series have gone in the past Edmonton has found a way to win.

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