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Sarah Palin is allowed first dibs on Alaskan wolfpack kills.

calendar   Thursday - March 24, 2016

It’s been more than half a month I think

Dizzy the blind kitteh had another seizure tonight. It was her first one in ... almost 3 weeks I think? Right, since the 5th. The little pills seem to be working pretty well.

But late in the evening, suddenly she was flying around the bedroom, lap after mindless maddened lap. I snatched her up and held her close and petted her until the spasm passed, but she was still loopy and disoriented for a few minutes after that.  Poor kitteh.

And once again the cat is either in heat, or can feel it coming, because she’s been loud and singy for the past 2 days, rubbing her head on everything, constantly underfoot, demanding really firm rubs and head noogies. And boy does she love to get her face rubbed, almost hard enough to take the hair right off. Vagus nerve stimulation? Who knows, but it seems like she’s giving us warning signs ahead of time.

We’ll see if she’s quiet tomorrow, now that she’s had her episode. Talk to the vet. Maybe she needs her meds upped when she starts making all the noise. Maybe getting her fixed would stop the seizures entirely??


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/24/2016 at 02:57 AM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCatg Blogging •  
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calendar   Sunday - March 06, 2016

bad week in kittehtown

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the two kittehs taking a nap together between bursts and fits




It’s been a rough and very emotional week for us here in our little condo on the edge of rural NJ.

This was the week both cats were supposed to go to the vet to get spayed. One got there. Neither one had the surgery.

Sniffles, the tiny one with the permanent stuffy nose—I’m trying to rename her Amanda, but it’s just not working—made her appointment, but was hardly under the knife when she had a bad reaction to the anesthetic and started turning blue. So the doc stopped the procedure, sewed her up, and brought her out of it, just to be safe. We’ll try again in another six months. She’s home, isolated in one of the bedrooms, resting comfortably, and being pampered left and right. Two days of that and she’s a loving little purr machine, and can’t wait to get out of the room. Tomorrow, honey, we just want to give the incision an extra day to heal.

Dizzy, the one who was born mostly blind and with a small facial deformity, is in a bad way. We don’t know if the onset of puberty was the trigger or not, but the poor baby has started having petit mal-like seizures. OMG, it’s a frightening and heart-rending thing to witness.

Cats do stupid shit. Cats chase their tails. Cats run around the house at 1000mph, and sometimes they go kind of crazy and leap and pounce all over the place at nothing, as if they were hunting ghosts. That’s cats. This is different.

She doesn’t have convulsions, per se. But she does run in tight circles, spinning around like a four legged figure skater at amazing speeds. Half a minute to a minute of this spinning, her tail and head stretched out straight the whole time while her body gyrates. Sometimes she falls over and then thrashes about. And then, like throwing a switch, it’s over. And she’s scared to death and sometimes wet from heaving up a little phlegm or cat snot or something. So we scoop her up and hold her firmly but gently and pet her and soothe her until she’s calm and has her breath back. And that’s it. And we never know when or if the next one will hit.

The first time was at night in the middle of the living room. We were terrified because there was nothing we could do, and cried our eyes out because ... well convulsions ... this means the end, right? So I get up the next morning and go in to use the bathroom. We’ve learned to not latch the door because the litter pan is next to the toilet, and we don’t want to force the kittens to have any little accidents. Plus Dizzy is totally nosy, and will Kung Fu the door open and come right in to see what you’re doing. And for a nearly blind cat, that means up close and personal. While you’re sitting on the throne!! Cats!!!

So she struts into the room after I’d been in there about 15 seconds, walks a couple steps in my direction, and has another seizure. I didn’t know what to do. “No kitty no!” and I reach over and pick her up and cuddle her fiercely. Her little body is red hot and stiff as an iron bar, and I can feel her torquing against me with amazing strength. So I’m yelling for help, yelling for the wife, still sitting naked on the john. And the cat thrashes herself loose, climbs up my arm and onto my back as I lean forward, and finishes her flamenco de fuego on my back. Untrimmed claws extended. She finally fell off me into the litter pan, and got up a couple seconds later as if nothing had happened. Meanwhile, I’ve got 30 bloody gashes all over me. And I still hadn’t done what I came in there to do!

So we got on the phone to the vet ASAP, and he cancelled her operation. But he was very supportive, and said how there were various tests to do, and a whole assortment of medicines depending on the cause. It is not the end. Since then she’s had 3 more fits. I can’t tell if they’re getting any worse, and they don’t seem to have any schedule. One second she’s fine, the next second a demon has possessed her, a minute later she’s fine but upset, and once we’ve comforted her she’s fine again. And we’re emotional wrecks. Again. There have been a lot of tears here the past few days. She’s going in for blood work Monday. And from there? We’ll see.

The good news is—if there is anything that can be called good news here—is that NJ has one of the best equipped large scale veterinary hospitals in the country. The Red Bank Veterinary Hospital has a staff of more than 80 vets, 4 of whom are neurological specialists. The bad news is that it’s on the other side of the state. The good news is that in NJ, that means it’s only and hour and a half away. More bad news; it’s guaranteed to be mighty expensive. But hey, we’ve got ObamaCat! Just kidding. But we do have health insurance for this kitteh, and it’s from the company that says they pay out without a hassle. So maybe she’s covered. Bad news is, we won’t know until we submit a bill.

Poor kitteh. But we have to do something. And we aren’t willing to lose her. Not yet. No. No no no! So there’s been a whole lot of praying going on here too.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/06/2016 at 03:04 AM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCatg Blogging •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 02, 2016

groggy

That 4 o’clock feeling when it seems that 5 o’clock will never get here.

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/02/2016 at 10:23 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCatg BloggingFun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Saturday - February 20, 2016

PatioKat Spa And Resort Open For Business

"If you build it, they will come.” Ok, I built it, so now I’m waiting.

It’s only a slightly kludgy rig; things fit together pretty well, I did the whole job without cutting the tarp, and as soon as I started playing with the paracord all my old knot skills learned in Boy Scouts came back. Bowlines, clove hitches, taughtline hitches. Cool. Of course I had to use a bit of duct tape. And because of all the insulation and padding on the ground, I elected not to put the heating pad up on a platform. It will stay perfectly dry, and any waste heat is going to keep the whole thing snug as a rug in which bugs hug.




A photo essay on the build. Each picture enlarges greatly when you click on it.

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two layers of heavy duty tarp.  putting together the foam board insulation from scraps

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/20/2016 at 07:55 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCatg Blogging •  
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calendar   Thursday - February 18, 2016

must be going stir crazy

Work began today on the all new PatioKat hotel and spa, a five star feral effort coming soon to a back steps near me.

The Ginger Gang (Harry, Big Ginger, Ginger Junior) has been suffering pretty badly this last cold snap. Literally, they’ve been under the weather. The nice chaise lounge up the sidewalk, in it’s weather protected niche and with it’s fluffy old down comforter, has been claimed by their parents Scowler and Brutus. And those are kittehs you don’t mess with. As they say on the street, they’re PWA (pussies with attitude) who protect their turf. As many a midnight scream fest and thumping about outside our windows has proven. So the young guys have no place, other than to all cram together on one plastic garden chair that has a big plastic storage container upside down on top of it. Pretty pathetic.

I looked online for some How To info on feral cat shelters, and most of them show designs made from cardboard boxes lined with foam blocks. Barely enough space for one, much less three, and these cats won’t go into any enclosed area that doesn’t have at least 2 exits. They are the most frightened young cats I’ve ever run across. The slightest noise or movement and swoosh, they’re gone. Panic! Run away!! So I gave it a fair amount of thought, and figured out how to make a kitteh shelter that would sleep anywhere from four to a dozen cats without constricting their personal space too much. And then I figured out how to make it weatherproof. And with central heating. With several ways in and out. And it has a handsome stealth design that fits right in on the patio and even coordinates with the color of the siding on the building. Yeah, I had to spend a little money. But only a little; everything I got was marked down at least 50% for off-season sales, or was a factory inspected return. To finish the project, I need to drive 4 nails, drill 4 small holes, drive 4 drywall screws, and play around with a few short lengths of twine. Oh, and make one saw cut across a 1x6. I’m already thinking of how to build the restaurant ramada. Heck I already have that, I just need to get some scrap lumber to make legs to stand it up on.

These cats. So spoiled. What a bunch of softies the two of us are.

And we’ve gone crazy, I’m sure.

I’ve got the thing assembled in the den here behind me, and it’s impressive. It’s big enough for a homeless guy to sleep in, just. Thank G_d we don’t have any feral humans around here. The cost in kibble would bankrupt us!

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/18/2016 at 06:14 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCatg Blogging •  
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calendar   Tuesday - February 02, 2016

Boys Are All The Same

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I got home to find the vertical blinds moving back and forth in the living room. And to hear some kitteh conversation going on. I take a look out the window, and there’s Harry, out rolling around in the sun and pawing at the glass. Both my girls are fascinated. Especially Dizzy. Who is mostly blind. Go figure. I just thought it was so cute that the both my girls were watching the local wild boy play the fool for their entertainment. Some things are the same everywhere, even regardless of species.

That reminds me ... both cats are scheduled to get fixed next month. It’s about that time. Both on the same day too. Woo hoo, we’re going to have such fun here on that day.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/02/2016 at 03:02 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - January 21, 2016

warmer does it

If Miss Dizzy will allow it, I’d like to

Excuse me kitteh. I’m trying to put together a post here.

No kitteh, not allowed up on the #af’l;askdjffffffffffffjkklem2;m’;ml’;ml234;ml;m

keyboard.

Hey! Don’t do that while I’m ‘wemklqr/.m,qw.,m/.,mlkjlk’;
‘l;
‘,’,

Gee thanks. Kittehs are always so helpful.

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I was just going to mention quickly that the old Satrun seems just fine now. I got it nice and warm before parking it earlier this morning, and when I went out around 7:45 to do my evening job she started right up. And I sat there and let the car warm up, which is something I almost never do. Got me down to Flemington, no problems, then started up again easily and got me home.

For 3 days this frozen week I had only run it for about 90 seconds twice a day. That’s how long my commute takes, including a stopover to put the cap on the electric eye so the power in the guard shack stays on once the sun comes up.

Cat is being extra helpful tonight. She’s very understanding and flexible ... as long as I understand that her needs are to be met instantly and fully without regard to what I might be doing, then she’s flexible enough to allow me to meet all her needs. Somehow an 8lb blind cat has become the boss of me.

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/21/2016 at 04:29 AM   
Filed Under: • Animalsplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Wednesday - January 06, 2016

ginger overload

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Yeah, one of these days we’re going to have to finish staining the wood trim and then remove the shipping tape from the glass. It’s only been a couple of years so far.

Anyway, Ginger, Baby Ginger, and Harry all stopped by for breakfast. 3 generations of brothers.  The wind yesterday made a mess of the patio, blowing everything over.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/06/2016 at 04:15 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - December 24, 2015

Not Just Navy Swearing

Yellow Bellied Sea Snake

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The yellow-bellied sea snake (Pelamis platura) is a pelagic sea snake, meaning that it lives its entire life at sea, including when giving birth.  Generally found in coastal waters, it is capable of surviving far at sea.  It is the only sea snake found in waters off Hawaii.  It may be found in all tropical and subtropical ocean waters (down to a water temperature of about 63°F) except for the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and Red Sea.  The yellow-bellied sea snake evolved from Asian land snakes about 10 million years ago.  The cold waters around the southern tips of Africa and South America prevented it from entering the Atlantic.  The high salinity of the Red Sea bars its presence there.  In the western Pacific, it is found as far north as Japan and Korea.  In the eastern Pacific, it traditionally has been found as far north as Baja California.  Recently, though, sightings have been made off Southern California, a development blamed on El Nino.  The maximum recorded length of a yellow-bellied sea snake is 44 inches.  Females tend to be longer than males.  They are passive hunters, drifting with the current until prey, generally small fish, swim within range.  They then use their flattened tails to attack.  Like other sea snakes, it is venomous, paralyzing its prey before consumption.

Looks like it would make a neat looking belt too, if the hide cures up decently.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/24/2015 at 05:32 PM   
Filed Under: • Animals •  
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calendar   Tuesday - December 15, 2015

middle of the night again

Up for a pee, up for a tea. And a purr.

Now back to sleep.

Don’t ask me how I’m going to corral both these little cats into one carrier for their trip to the vet in the morning. It’s time for their next bunch of shots.

UPDATE: well, isn’t that special? Did you know that Welfare extends to dogs and cats too? I didn’t. But apparently you can get your pets spayed or neutered for $20 or less if you are on various kinds of public assistance in most states (Example here ) . ... and no, don’t go there with your reaction. It’s too easy. And only Ruth Vader Ginsburg and other far left Marxists support Eugenics these days. Like ISIS, which simply kills them all.

The Islamic State has reportedly issued a fatwa ordering the elimination of children with Down[’s] syndrome and other congenital disabilities, reminiscent of Hitler’s infamous “Aktion T4” program, which administered forced “euthanasia” on an estimated 300,000 disabled persons.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/15/2015 at 09:04 AM   
Filed Under: • Animals •  
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calendar   Saturday - December 05, 2015

the cat house

It seems our whole lives are now revolving around the needs of two little kittens.  Right down to our plans for the Holidays.

The small cat, the sickly one, Sniffles, isn’t doing so good. After two full weeks on the kitty amoxicillin, we had her back to the vet because she’s still sick. And now she’s lost weight. Poor thing. Doesn’t want to eat. So it’s on to a stronger antibiotic for another week or two, but that’s going to be it. And I’m almost hand feeding her lumps of canned cat food after sweet talking her, rubbing and brushing her until she’s a total purr machine. Then she’ll get up from her cozy pile of blankets, snerch her sinuses for a bit - I snuff my own nose back at her, and make coughing and yakking noises too so she doesn’t feel embarrassed. Wipe away any boogers and crusties with a warm damp washcloth, then we can smell the food bowl in front of us. Yummy nummy nom-noms kitteh, ooh look! And she’ll eat. And eat. And eat. While making the most terrible sounds in her throat and head, like nails and broken glass being ground up in a tin bucket. Makes my skin crawl. But I can get 2, sometimes 3 good sized meat lumps in her, plus some kibbles. Call it 1/4 of a 6oz can, which isn’t bad considering she only weighs 2.75lb. She’s still a baby kitty, mostly.

She does have the energy to get down from her perch on the counter-top and use the litter pan. And I can hear her playing with her little ball and her felt mousey at night. Plus we both play with her and get her to run around a bit. So she isn’t at death’s door or anything. She’s just small, and low energy. The other one, Dizzy, the blind cat, is growing like a weed, has become really assertive, and runs around the house at 100mph. We brought her in at least 4 or 5 weeks before we collected Sniffs, and the proper feeding and good care has made a huge difference.

The two don’t play well together. We figured, well, you know, sister kittens and all that. Soft play, mutual grooming, play tug with the soft chew toy, chase each other around the house, a bit of the old Under The Door Paw game, plenty of double snuggles. Pillow parties and make-overs. We thought wrong. It may be in fun, or slightly in fun, but they attack each other incessantly. Cat Wars. I never would have thought it, but the blind cat is the relentless aggressor. Until Sniffs get cornered, then Dizz gets a face full of furious. Nobody’s bleeding or crying, but it’s much rougher than we expected, and far rougher than their wild brothers and sisters play outside here. So we pull them apart, and Sniffs goes back into her safe room and goes back to sleep.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/05/2015 at 03:06 PM   
Filed Under: • Animals •  
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calendar   Friday - November 20, 2015

It’s Come To This

JCOAPS, it’s come to this. I’m cat blogging.

Shoot me. Just shoot me now.

Seriously, right now I don’t know day from night. I was asleep, I got up at 20 to 5. That’s just a few minutes before my alarm goes off in the morning, so I got up. It’s dark out. But hey, it’s raining. Grab a coffee, feed the indoor cats, feed the outdoor cats. Spend 10 minutes looking up “feline upper respiratory illness” on the internet, find out that it can be chlamydia, wonder if that’s the same thing as the human STD. Is there a vector? Flash thought of dark humor, the wife at the gyno trying to explain ... “I was playing with my pussy, and it sneezed.” You’re twisted Drew.

Right. Out the door, off to work. Spread out the cones, open the door. Damn, it’s dark this morning. See a little yellow car go zipping by. Looks like hers. What’s she doing out at this hour of the morning? And where are the bus stop kids? Don’t tell me that they’ve got yet another day off from school?



My cellphone rings.
“Why is your car parked on Bank Street?”
Because I’m at work, in the guard shack.
“Why are you working at night?”
What?
“You idiot, don’t you know it’s evening, not morning? Didn’t you notice how dark it was?”
Yeah, well, the rain and all.
“Go home Drew”
Right, on my way.




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Sniffles in her getting-well habitat, a very warm quiet spot on the bathroom counter.

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/20/2015 at 01:20 AM   
Filed Under: • Animals •  
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calendar   Tuesday - November 17, 2015

We’re such softies here. At least temporarily. As if.

We captured another one of our semi-feral kittehs and took her to the vet. Poor little Sniffles seems to have had a cold or the flu or something most of her young life. She’s quite weak, and the other bigger cats push her out of the way so she rarely gets a decent meal. But she is very tame, and has been hanging around the kitchen door for weeks staring at us. So we finally relented.

Vet says it’s an upper respiratory ailment, here’s some antibiotics. Give Sniffles a little squirt with this plastic syringe twice a day until the bottle is empty. That might take 2 weeks or more.

So we took her in. Figured out that she could live in the bathroom for now, away from our other kitteh, little blind Dizzy. Her sister. Right. So we fed her. And she ate 3/4 of a can of cat food at one go. And we got the medicine in her, no problem. And we held her gently and gave her a good washing with a wash cloth. And the bathroom is really nice and warm. It didn’t really take much to get the room ready; just put away our stuff and any cleaning products that might have been out.

Halfway through her bath she found her purr. And she’s been purring madly at us since. Purr purr purr, rub rub rub. This is one little cat that’s been starved for affection. And now she’s clean, dry, warm, well fed, and has a cozy safe place to stay. Happy cat, indeed.

We’ll see if we can feed her enough to put on a pound in three weeks like we did for Dizzy.

Something tells me she won’t be going back out into the cold wild wet any time soon. Ever.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/17/2015 at 03:10 PM   
Filed Under: • Animals •  
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calendar   Monday - November 16, 2015

One More For The Birds

Once upon a time when I was younger I was a fairly adept birder. I wasn’t one of the hardcore birdie folks who got up long before dawn, put on their special bird watching outfits, strapped on the proper gear and headed off to the countryside, but I was pretty good at my seagulls and songbirds.  And I could even spell ornithology in 2nd grade.

And of course in those days you had to have a bird book. Or three. Audubon just to look at the artwork. And Roger Tory Peterson’s Field Guide To The Birds for fieldwork.  Which means you kept a little stub of pencil about you for making absolutely honest additions to your Life List in the back. No cheating, ever. It was on your honor and any sighting even slightly questionable was a Maybe at best. And don’t go checking Ivory-Billed Woodpecker no matter how desperately you want it. What you saw probably wasn’t even a Pileated Woodpecker, merely a crow.

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I don’t know where my copy is. Maybe it was the family copy after all. It’s been a lot of years. But I remember the little blue book we carried everywhere, from Maine to Florida an beyond. It got a whole lot of use but held up. A later birding book I was given hardly lasted 5 years.

But today I can honestly add “Ring-neck pheasant, male” to my list. Because I saw one in the grass across from my guard shack this morning, and I pointed him out to my supervisor. “Pretty birds they are” says he. “And tasty” says me.


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Not mine, this is just an example bird


It’s likely that this one escaped the seeding program a couple fields down the road. We have a couple of designated Upland Hunting Areas nearby, which means the state comes and stocks the meadows with game birds for the hunters to shoot at. Not the most sporting thing, but this is New Jersey, and it keeps most of the weekend hunters in one area where the game warden can keep an eye on them.

But a bird outside is a bird in the wild, so on my list he goes. Odd looking fellow. Rather longer and thinner than I expected. Reminded me of a small deli sausage with feathers on it. Our local turkeys are at least 4 times more massive. Easily.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/16/2015 at 03:21 PM   
Filed Under: • Animals •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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