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We miss you, Petey

Pete in his somewhat younger days

Pete in his somewhat younger days

At about 9:30 p.m. on Thursday (March 10), I went out to the sunroom to check on the dogs, and Pete, our 12-year-old lab/pit mix, was obviously in distress. He was panting and drooling and wouldn’t really move. After a panicked phone call to the local emergency vet, we managed to get him in the car to take him down there.

They took him back right away, and within a half hour the bloodwork came back indicating a very serious case of pancreatitis. They undertook “aggressive” fluid therapy to bring his lactate back to normal. At 2 a.m. I called to check on him, and there hadn’t really been much change. The vet called me back at 4 a.m. to report that he was actually feeling worse and that his organs were probably shutting down.

By 4:45 Nan and I were back down there saying goodbye, having made the decision not to draw out the inevitable.

I have no idea how long he’d been sick. If he felt bad before Thursday night, he did a good job of hiding it; his appetite and energy were fairly normal until then. I hate to think he had been miserable for a while and we missed the signs that could have allowed us to get him to the vet earlier and avoid this outcome for him.

Despite his somewhat intimidating appearance, Pete was really sweet and a true mama’s boy. He was also Rainy’s keeper, letting us know every day when she was done eating and would need to go out (I guess he got as tired of her peeing in the sunroom as we did). As recently as last week, I went in to let them out for their first pee break of the morning, and Pete headed out the door but came back in to poke his head into Rainy’s crate as I tried to coax her out; she was feeling particularly lazy that morning.

It’s been a sad few days around here.

Perfect LITTLE tomatoes

We’ve struggled with our tomato plants again this year, but about three weeks ago they suddenly started bearing fruit – lots of it. Here’s a picture of two of the tomatoes from our Early Girl plant:


Nice, eh? Here’s another shot:


Did I mention our tomatoes are really, really small?

Nashville snow, January 2010

2010 Snow 006

Originally uploaded by tmccartney66

Starting on Jan. 29, 2010, we got about 4 or 5 inches of snow in Nashville, which is a much bigger deal for us than it might be for you who see this every year. Rainy, our 14-year-old red mutt, likes the snow for a few minutes until it starts forming little icy balls in the hair of her feet.

You can see more pictures, if you’re so inclined, here.


I’ve all but abandoned PC gaming, preferring to avoid the upgrade arms race and stick with my (not too trusty) Xbox 360 and my seldom-used Wii. However, I’d had a Flash-based game called Machinarium on my radar for several weeks based just on some screenshots. So when the demo became available, I grabbed it. And a half-hour later, when I was done with the demo, I shelled out 20 bucks and bought the game.

What a thing of beauty this game is. Someone has described it as a steampunk Wall-E, and that’s not a bad start. You control a cute anthropomorphic robot (probably built in Japan) through a decaying world. It’s not clear at first what your ultimate goal is; the first several levels involve just getting to the next one. But through flashbacks, you learn that things are not good.

Here’s a taste:

You manipulate the world solely via your robot by maneuvering him near objects and having him interact with them. Some solutions are reasonably clear, but some are a little more confounding. As with Myst, I felt pretty dumb throughout and did a fair bit of cheating (there are video and graphical walkthroughs out there, naturally) to finish.

Oh, and the $20 download has NO DRM and includes versions for the Mac, PC and Linux, plus the beautiful soundtrack.

Highly recommended.

About this site

Technically this is a blog. However, having tried and failed several times to maintain a blog, I know better than to claim I’ll be updating this one with any regularity or to think anyone would read it anyway. Rather, this is just a place for me to drop my random stuff and provide links to other places where I have a presence.