Object Lessons: Rantings of a Lone Pamphleteer
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Cheetah is the Smartest Cat Ever

Jon's birthday passed not without incident. Two years ago, the heat went out, and since we'd just had some snowfalls, Jon and I were both concerned about it happening again this year. After all, several friends came over Sunday for a Fiesta and gaming, and we wanted them to be comfy. We had about an eighth of a tank: just enough for a couple of days. You do what you can with an old house; we called in an order, warned them it wouldn't last until they could send someone on Tuesday, and went on with our weekend.

Monday, Jon's birthday, he stayed home to celebrate quietly. He opened his gifts. We snacked on leftover vanilla/cherry-ice-cream cake and Mexican food; we lazed, TiVo slaves, then napped late afternoon.

For dinner, a quick trip to an old stand-by we'd abandoned: the Fe: local college hangout and NTN-bar we frequented before it changed ownership, and barely tolerated since. It's improved slightly. The glasses are cheap plastic now, a bow to the rowdier (presumably drunker) crowd that used to go there for good meals and some sports. The food's about the same as we recall from our last visit: my burger was fine, absolutely edible, but Jon's flautas were charred badly on one end. The service was slight.

The appetizer (chorizo con queso) was good, and they did change the channel for us to play NTN. They even had at least 8 working Playmakers, an improvement over recent visits. JONBOY took gold in Sports IQ, and we played concurrenly with two of our nemeses: SMKPOT (whose name I've considered turning in under Rule 47) and YOMAMA. It wasn't a terrible evening. Kind of normal. Easy. If memory serves, the word is relaxing.

And we relaxed some more back home, before bed, right up until we discovered the heat was out. (Told you it wouldn't last until Tuesday.) After calling, we put electric heaters in the bedrooms (Cheetah needs warmth, too, but Teddy stays in our room), and slept. A return phone call woke us, and I stayed up for the emergency oil man they agreed to send. (How does lack of planning on their part constitute an emergency on our part?). I've been up ever since.

Now I remember why I don't nap.

But the night hasn't been a total loss. We have enough oil until they come today. I've plowed through emails dating back three months. Most importantly, Cheetah has kept me company, distracting me and getting back to her old self. Somewhere, she found one of those little sponge balls she likes so much, and brought it out to play fetch. And I wouldn't have been here to play if the heat hadn't gone out...

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