stAllio!'s way
Friday, November 05, 2004 
cat's cradle
leland has no physical eye damage, and the vet suspected that his conjunctivitis was just an infection he probably picked up last week when he snuck out of the house for a few hours. i have some antibiotic ointment, which sounds very awkward to apply (it's an ointment & we have to wipe it into his eyelid) but should clear his infection right up. so that's the good news.

the bad news is that apparently leland has a level 3 heart murmur.

so i set up another appointment for next week, to get an x-ray, an ultrasound, & a multipurpose blood test (which will also check his FeLV status). they gave me an estimate of $479. there's no way to know whether the murmur is serious until the tests have been run (though he's definitely not lethargic, which is a good sign).

like i said in my previous post, he seems pretty healthy aside from the squinting, so i'm not too concerned just yet. but he could end up on heart medication for the rest of his life, & it potentially could be (or get) pretty bad.

cat's eye
i think my poor kitty has conjunctivitis.

on wednesday night i noticed leland had an eye booger, a bit of discharge in the corner of his left eye. i didn't think too much of it but later noticed that he also seemed to be squinting a bit in that eye.

yesterday i checked again & he was still squinting. barry had noticed it too. & on further inspection i saw that the corner of his eye was red & swollen. having had conjunctivitis this year, i recognized the symptoms enough that i'm somewhat confident in that diagnosis. other than the squinting or occasional rubbing his eye, he isn't acting sick in the least, though.

i did some research on feline conjunctivitis & apparently the most common causes are viral infections. the #1 most common cause is apparently feline herpes virus, which is much like human herpes in that it's not curable: you can merely treat the symptoms (and perhaps most importantly, is not transferrable to humans). and outbreaks apparently go away somewhat quickly even without treatment. i thought this was a good sign because i'm pretty busy this weekend, what with the craptacular show tomorrow night in bloomington.

but as i kept reading, site after site recommended getting him to the vet either "promptly", or worse, "immediately". while it might not be that bad, it could deteriorate & cause long-term discomfort or worse. and when i came across a site that said a cat with conjunctivitis "should be checked for feline leukemia virus", i knew i needed to get him to the vet.

leland hasn't been to the vet in about 3 years, since he was neutered. at the time, i was informed that he had tested positive for feline leukemia virus. FeLV is a feline blood disease (again, sorta contagious for cats, but not humans) that can cause immunodeficiency problems in some cats. or some cats fight off the infection permanently & never get sick. others live asymptomatically as carriers for years, if not live out their whole lives normally. leland has never seemed sick; occasionally he'll sneeze or vomit on the floor, but what cat doesn't? so i never got around to taking him back in to be retested, to see if he's even still infected.

this is the first time he's ever seemed "sick" in any fashion (& like i say, he's behaving normally except for the squinting, so he's clearly not too sick). i just hope this is a minor matter, & not a sign that FeLV is finally taking its toll on him.

we have an appointment for 5:15 today at a new vet, so by this evening i should have a better idea what's going on, or at least have some eye drops for him, though i'm sure administering the eye drops won't be much fun...

Thursday, November 04, 2004 
what is wrong with blogger?
i checked my blog this morning & it had reverted to just showing my css template again! ack!

[update: i'm at a serious loss for what's causing this. i'm pretty sure it's some kind of blogger publishing error (since when blogger is busy or buggy it doesn't always publish completely or correctly), but have no idea how to fix it. right now it appears that all my blog pages are normal except for the 10/17/2004 archive page... and that page appears to be there in its entirety, but when i view it i see the html code instead of the actual page... anyone know what causes that? i've tried updating the doctype but it doesn't want to stick. maybe later today blogger traffic will slow down & it will publish normally.]

[second update: i have figured it out. my folder structure shifted around during the server move, & i had fixed it in one place in blogger but not in others. it is now fixed throughout.]

Wednesday, November 03, 2004 
after being agitated all day (& much of last night) about the election, i'm going to take this therapist's advice and relax tonight, read some comics & watch some tv (fun tv, not cnn!).

if you're upset about the elections (& a lot of people are), read it. you're going through the grieving process (the same as you would after any major loss) & there are tips there for how to cope. it's from the dailykos diaries, though the top several posts on the main page are worth reading for some perspective.

actually, i'd already been planning to relax tonight for some semimindless fun, but this gives me an excuse to post about it!

now it begins
i listened to the kerry concession speech. i think he did it too soon: the votes aren't even close to all being counted yet, & there's an outside chance he will still win the election despite having given a concession speech (in which case, he might actually look better for having conceded than if he had fought vigorously). but realistically, the election is probably over & even if he does end up with more votes in ohio and/or florida, we won't necessarily hear about it in the media.

i could spend a lot of time speculating on "what went wrong?" most liberal blogs will probably have posts like that. i won't write a whole lot about my own thoughts because others have already gotten most of the important points. like kristof in the nytimes:

I'm writing this on tenterhooks on Tuesday, without knowing the election results. But whether John Kerry's supporters are now celebrating or seeking asylum abroad, they should be feeling wretched about the millions of farmers, factory workers and waitresses who ended up voting - utterly against their own interests - for Republican candidates.

One of the Republican Party's major successes over the last few decades has been to persuade many of the working poor to vote for tax breaks for billionaires. Democrats are still effective on bread-and-butter issues like health care, but they come across in much of America as arrogant and out of touch the moment the discussion shifts to values.

or eric alterman:

The problem is just this: Slightly more than half of the citizens of this country simply do not care about what those of us in the “reality-based community” say or believe about anything.

They don’t care that Iraq is turning into murderous quicksand and a killing field for our children. They don’t care that the Bush presidency has made us less safe by creating more terrorists, inspiring more anti-American hatred and refusing to engage in the hard work that would be necessary to make a meaningful dent in our myriad vulnerabilities at home. They don’t care that he has mortgaged our children’s future to give trillions to the wealthiest among us. They don’t care that the economy continues to hemorrhage well-paying jobs and replace them with Wal-Mart; that the number without health insurance is over forty million and rising. They don’t care that Medicare premiums are rising to fund the coffers of pharmaceutical companies. They don’t care that the air they breathe and the water they drink is being slowly poisoned and though they call themselves conservatives, they even don’t care that the size of the government and its share of our national income has increased by roughly a quarter in just four years. This is not a world of rational debate and issue preference.

we already knew that large majorities of bush supporters believe things that are clearly false. bush managed to bring these people out to the polls en masse. the "sleeper issue" of the election was "moral issues" (read: hating abortion and hating gays).

but from what i've read so far, i think kos had the best advice: remember goldwater.

winners never quit. quitters never win.
now the official news is that kerry will concede at 1pm EST. it will be interesting to see what happens if the votes in ohio and/or florida turn out in kerry's favor but kerry has already conceded. likely that wouldn't even be reported in the major media.

now we wait until 1 o'clock to see if kerry actually does concede. i don't think he should, but maybe he thinks it's "for the best"... if the situation were reversed, there is no way in hell that bush would be conceding at this point.

kos puts it in perspective (emphasis mine):

Bush is currently leading in Ohio by 136,221

If there are 250,000 provisional ballots outstanding. The highest number I've seen.

And 90% of those ballots are good, as they were in 2000. That leaves 225,000 votes.

If 85% of those ballots prove to be for Kerry, about the number that Gore got in 2000. That leaves us with 191,250, giving us a lead of 55,029.

If there are only 200,000 provisionals, following the same calculation would leave us with a lead of 16,779.

If the provisional ballots are only 175,000 that leaves us with a deficit of -2,346 that will leaves us in a position to get an automatic statewide recount.

Or, to put it another way, an automatic recount is triggered by a margin of 0.25% or between 13,000 and 16,000 votes.

either this will come down to counting the votes (what a novel concept!) or it will be decided by the courts once again.

hurry up and wait
it's not over & it might not be for days. kerry is behind but not out yet. ohio might not be decided for days, and there's something really fishy about the florida numbers even though the media has called florida for bush (why do the official florida returns have a zero in the turnout column for all the most populous counties? what about the potential 1.6 million uncounted absentee ballots in florida? michael moore also has one hell of a long list of florida voter irregularities).

and is it a coincidence that the two most-conservative networks (fox & msnbc) have called ohio for bush but nobody else will?

some people have already given up. mercifully, kerry isn't one of them. he still has a chance, though i'd be lying if i said it looked good.

now we wait, either for the rest of the votes to be counted, or for someone to usurp the process.

in local news, indiana has elected its first republican governor since evan bayh took office in '88. but bayh himself is going strong, absolutely crushing his opponent marvin scott (scott was the only person on earth who thought he could unseat bayh). bayh is a democrat, but arguably a DINO. my representative julia carson has kept her seat in the house, after a race that flipped a few times as results came in.

ps. blogger is giving me some weird error where sometimes instead of seeing my blog you will see my css stylesheet... wtf? so last night's 2am has not been visible apparently.

it's not over, but it's messy
well if kerry wins, it won't be by a landslide.

msnbc & fox have called ohio for bush. without ohio, kerry cannot win. msnbc is even spinning this as "kerry campaign refuses to concede ohio". here's their photo caption for the story:

Supporters of President Bush cheer early Wednesday morning in Washington after the television networks declared Bush the winner in Florida and Ohio.

note how it says "the television networks"... the obvious reading would be that all the networks have called ohio for bush but kerry is in denial.

but that's not true. as of right now, cnn has called ohio officially "too close to call". abc & cbs haven't called it either. cnn is talking quite a bit about absentee & provisional ballots, which won't be counted until ten days after election day.

there are perhaps a million uncounted absentees in florida too, but for some reason nobody hesitated to project bush for florida.

it is way past my bedtime & i need to sleep. when i awake, i do not expect this to be over. but hopefully, by then msnbc will have pulled ohio from the bush column.

even if bush does win ohio, there is still the possibility of a tie...

this is ugly. i hope i can settle down enough to fall asleep.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004 
i voted!
i sincerely hope all my readers are registered & plan to vote today if you haven't already.

in past elections here in indiana i voted using big old '70s-style voting machines: flip the lever, baby. this year i used a paper scantron ballot: fill in those ovals!

i'm not sure if the ballot difference is simply because i'm now voting in a different precinct, or because of changes in local election procedures.

i got to my polling place around 8:20. i overheard one of the poll workers say something like "from 6:30 to 7:15 the machine wasn't counting ballots. they had to come in & fix it" (i'm not sure if she said 7:15 or 8:15).

i was voter #76. i don't know if that includes the people who voted around 6:30 or not, but there weren't many people there so i suspect they had already run those ballots through again.

this was my first time voting for a democrat for president! in past elections i voted third party... i was so dissatisfied with the clintonesque "neo-liberalism" (aka "business-friendly democrats") that i refused to identify with the democratic party. so in my first couple elections i voted libertarian. i now see the irony in that: the DLC might have had its hands in big business's pockets, but the libertarian party is f'n radical in their belief that corporations can do whatever the hell they like. i do still think voting for a third party can be noble (since those parties need the federal funding, which is primarily why i voted lib in the first place), but the libertarian economic platform just scares me.

in 2000, i voted for nader. no, i don't regret it. but this year i voted kerry, obviously.

get out & vote, bitches!

Monday, November 01, 2004 
what a halloweekend!

my saturday show at bubba's got a lot of press. it was at least mentioned in all the major local newspapers, one radio station, & two tv stations. this show was an all-ages benefit for the families of two police officers who recently died in the line of duty. i was scheduled to play in between all the other acts, for a total of six 10-minute sets.

for some reason, people didn't come out en masse. we probably had at most 30 people in there at once (& that was early on), with maybe 60 people showing up total over the course of the night. but it was a good time nonetheless. the people were all cool, & the music was undeniably diverse, from the roots music of jethro easyfields to the '80s-style showmanship of niswander rock theater to the dark psychedelic rock of pharmakon to the harsh experiments of TEC & noiseman433.

and i sold one cd: to someone who i later learned was a "venture capitalist [...] who was particularly impressed with il Troubadore, Pharmakon and stAllio and [...] is interested in helping develop these acts and the Indianapolis music scene." at one point this venture capitalist brought in three pizzas from next door to share. i'm not sure if he bought them, simply carried them, or what. they were tasty, but they were all "meat-lover's" or the equivalent, so the vegetarians (like bobby vomit & his crew) didn't get to eat any...

bubba's is an unusual venue, with mini bowling (where the pins are small & there is no machine to reset them; you had to walk down the lane & put them back manually) & pool tables. il troubadore decided to eschew the PA & play their set acoustic, so naturally right after they started a new group of kids arrived & started bowling, loudly stomping down the lanes after each throw. boom crash opera.

anyway, we apparently earned $151 for the families of the fallen officers, played a good show, & hung out in good company. not the kind of turnout i'd hoped for, but not a waste of time either.

sunday night was the asobi sexsu show hosted by the free zone. quite a contrast from the night before. the place was packed! we had 100 people through the door & probably half or more of them were already there when i kicked off the show at 9pm. when i was onstage performing i could very clearly hear the din of all the bar conversation. it was almost as loud as my monitors. i was tempted to turn my sound way up. but when i finished my set, i got a loud round of applause, so maybe that was just an acoustical problem & the audience could hear me just fine... the other bands sounded quite loud in front of the speakers, & i performed at the same sound level i'd sound-checked at, so right now i'm going with the idea that my monitors just should've been louder, since the sound from the real speakers doesn't reach the stage.

lunar event played a great set (i thought they sounded tighter than when i heard them at the red room during mms, but maybe my mms opinion was tainted by my uneasiness with the crowd there), & asobi sexsu sounded pretty good as well. not something i'd want to buy & listen to often, but an enjoyable live set. after they finished, everyone rushed to the merch table to buy their stuff. nobody bought any stAllio! swag, but i did trade t-shirts with derek from lunar event.

i got to meet (however briefly) a couple people i'd only communicated with online, & i handed a free cd to steve hammer (if you aren't local, hammer is the main music reporter & columnist at nuvo, a tabloid weekly akin to the village voice, cleveland scene, etc (it was the only paper in that market for years until intake came onto the scene recently).

and chandler paid me $50! i don't think i've been paid that much for a show since the very first bt show in muncie back in january 2001!

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