Support Your Local Sea Otter

Friends of the Sea Otter, a California non-profit that works to protect endangered sea otter populations, is selling “Sea Otter Awareness Week 2017” t-shirts to raise funds.

Get yours here:

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RIP, Starlight “Torbie” Furr — 2002-2017

Rest in peace, Starlight “Torbie” Furr, 2002-2017.

Starlight was a wonderful kitty, from the very first day she hopped into my lap in the visitation room at the Chittenden County Humane Society in October of 2002, right up until the end. She was suffering from bladder cancer, in pain, obviously suffering, and nothing we did (even two sessions of chemotherapy) helped. We realized that there was nothing else we could do other than say our final goodbyes. Our veterinarian was good enough to make a house call so that our baby passed on in the house she’d lived in for 15 years, with me by her side telling her that I loved her.

I will never forget her. No other cat I’ve ever had has been as sweet and affectionate. I called her my “teddy cat” because I could grab her and cuddle her in bed, and she loved it and purred like crazy. I’d hold her on my chest and she’d purr even harder. On cold nights, she’d come to my bed, where I was sleeping on my back, and curl up on my “lap” to keep warm. She loved all kinds of touch, and she somehow knew how important eye contact was to us primates. She also loved all kinds of people, and she’d colonize the laps of our visitors, even (maybe especially) those who didn’t know what to do with a cat on their lap.

Goodbye, sweetie. We will always love you.

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2017 Atlanta Susan G. Komen 3-Day

Hi, all.

In October I’ll be taking part in the Komen 3-Day again (this time in Atlanta); this will be my 17th walk and my 25th event overall in the ten years I’ve been taking part. I’ve got the usual $2,300 to raise in order to take part. I’d be grateful to anyone who would be willing to sponsor me and help in the fight against breast cancer.

My donation URL is Thanks so much for any support you can lend.

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*What* societal gun violence problem?

Seen at Burlington International Airport today:

I don’t know if it adds anything to the story to mention that I was wearing a Virginia Tech t-shirt at the time.

But other than my snarky title for this post, words more or less fail me.


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Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

I apologize to everyone for being a tiresomely annoying, self-centered, whiny, attention-whoring, angry, malicious jerk.

I wish I could make amends to everyone I’ve harmed.

Since I can’t, I am planning on more-or-less permanently deactivating all my social media accounts.

If, in the short term, you would like a personal apology, let me know. It’s always hard to know if a personal attempt at amends will actually make things worse, and that’s the last thing I want to do.

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Clinical Depression

cauldrons of lightly chilled mayonnaise

I don’t think I’ve ever come right out and thanked my friends and co-workers and family members for being understanding and tolerant where my clinical depression is concerned. I’ve been mostly focused on saying “Look, I know what a huge drag I am, I’m sorry.” But I do appreciate people who tolerate my periodic descents into maudlin woolgathering and breast-beating, and who attempt to understand how frustrating clinical depression can be.

Thank you all.

For what it’s worth, I am on medication (citalopram and buproprion) and I think it helps; on occasion when I forget to refill my daily pill minder and start procrastinating and saying “I’ll fill it tomorrow” I start feeling really down. But the medicine doesn’t make me feel normal; I still have days I feel so bad that I could just cry.

I am not currently seeing a psychotherapist or counselor. I have seen several in the past, and got some benefit, especially in terms of coaching me how to avoid fighting with my wife and how to avoid conflict. None of the talk therapy I’ve ever gone through has helped with the clinical depression. There are people that talk therapy helps, and people it doesn’t help. Obviously, failure to benefit from a particular therapist may mean that the therapist/patient relationship isn’t optimal, and one shouldn’t just give up entirely based on that. But I’ve seen quite a few therapists over the years, and I can’t really say that any therapist helped me deal with the maddening attacks of the blues that I get.

Reputable sources agree: talk therapy doesn’t always work, and it’s not for everyone.

It would help tremendously if I worked harder at getting a lot of regular exercise. I’ve gotten almost none for a few years now. Obviously, there’s a vicious circle there; because of the depression, I don’t exercise, but because I don’t exercise, I’m probably more depressed.

Maybe I can do something about that as warm weather comes to Vermont. Ideally, I’d go out and get some exercise this week after work since I’m in Lubbock, Texas and there’s definitely no snow on the ground here. Unfortunately, I’ve got too much work on my plate right now; I need to get out of here at the end of the day and go back to my room and just keep on working, and even if I didn’t, I’d probably just curl up in a dark room.

I feel like a failure and a loser for my inability to make inroads on my depression, but at least most/all of you seem to understand what I’m experiencing, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.


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Two things you don’t want to get confused

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