Archives for November 2003

Dark Today

It must be the end of November. The rain has been coming down fast and furious all day, which has cast quite a pall over our little neck of Coquitlam. The days are definitely getting shorter, and soon Christmas will be upon us. It’s amazing how fast time flies.

What’s with the Snow?

When we woke up on Tuesday morning, it looked like the ground was frosty. We have been having heavy frosts for some time in our neighbourhood, so it was nothing out of the ordinary. However, upon closer inspection it turned out to be a light dusting of snow. In Coquitlam. In November. Luckily, the roads were clear but wet, so the commute in to work was fine. But driving along the Barnet highway it was like a Winter wonderland. For some reason, all the snow falls along that stretch of road.

In fact, there is still snow along the side of the Barnet highway today, 3 days later. It’s totally crazy, and I just don’t know what’s up with the weather this year. A hot dry Summer followed by flooding, and now snow in November. I would like to order more typical weather for 2004, please.

PS – Those of you who live in more extreme climes can feel free to laugh at me. Knock yourselves out. I am totally prepared to live with your mockery, because when I go outside and blink my eyelids do not freeze shut.

PPS – My husband is actually alive and well, although you wouldn’t know it from his blog. He is simply in mourning because the Canucks lost two games in a row to the Maple Leafs. 🙁

Sweet Sleep

It looks like the Dorothy early-morning mewing is abating. Of course, I was a total pushover and did little to eliminate the problem. It was really Jon who came to the rescue.

Every time that Dorothy starts mewing loudly outside of a closed door, Jon gives her a quick shot with the spray bottle. In only a couple of days the mewing has greatly diminished. Also, the mewing episodes are much shorter, and are undertaken from a greater distance. She still makes noise when she hears my alarm clock go off, but that’s not as much of a concern as a random wake-up call hours before I’m ready to get up.

In other news, I winterized our front garden on Saturday. The ground was already starting to freeze, so not a moment too soon. I did some pruning and weeding, and layed down mulch. We’ll put in some new plants in the Spring, but for now things look pretty good.

Day Time is Play Time

I realize that I only ever write about my kitten anymore, but she’s a force of nature, so there you go.

Anyways, back to kitty. It seems that we are not smart enough to keep the kitten confined downstairs all night. The baby gates are going back to Wal-Mart, and we are back to the drawing board.

We do have a new plan of attack, which I am pleased to announce has made no difference so far. Still, we have hope, and time.

I read an article online which addresses the early-morning mewing. The article suggested two things. First off, the mewing is much like whining, in that it’s annoying and hence it works. Whenever that cat mews we run to her, because we want it to STOP. Of course, this rewards negative behaviour. So, we are now ignoring her mews, to send her the message that this is not an effective attention-getting technique. Of course, it still drives us up a wall.

Second, cats are nocturnal by nature, but they do sleep a lot. So, if we can keep her awake for most of the day, she should gradually reset her internal clock to sleep through the night and play during the day. So now the new motto at our house is ‘day time is play time’. When we see kitten dozing off in the afternoon, we make loud noises and dangle objects in front of her face to keep her active and awake. This is supposed to take 10-14 days, so we’ll see.

If anyone has any other kitten-training suggestions to stop our little alarm clock from waking us, let me know. I’m willing to try anything short of physical discipline or allowing the cat in our bed (which doesn’t prevent the mewing anyway, since she mews ALL THE TIME, not just to wake us up).

Jail Break Kitty

I think I mentioned earlier that Dorothy has turned into our little alarm clock. When the furnace comes on at 6:45, she’s outside our bedroom door mewing, waking us up. This is an especially bad thing on weekends.

After some major sleep deprivation, we decided that we need to take matters into our own hands. Our idea was that if we could somehow keep her downstairs, that we wouldn’t be woken up when she wanted to play. To that end, I went off to Wal-Mart and purchased two baby gates, which we installed one on top of another between the kitchen and dining room. This way the kitten had her food and litter box, and 3 rooms to play in all night long.

I purchased the baby gates on Friday night, and was rewarded with a good sleep-in on Saturday morning. However, on Sunday morning, we were woken again by a mewing outside our door. It seems Dorothy had learned how to climb the baby gates, so I tried putting tin foil over the tops of both gates, because apparently cats are afraid of tin foil. Dorothy was, indeed, daunted by the crinkling noise, but not enough to keep her on the right side of the fence.

Sunday night, we decided we needed to make the gates un-scalable, so we covered the top gate with garbage bags. This worked for an hour, as Dorothy tried to climb again and again, and was rebuffed. After hearing some horrible noises at 1 am, I opened my bedroom door just in time to see the kitten flying over the gates, into the dining room. Another escape.

The kitten is very proud of herself, and we are resolved to find something, anything, to help us get the sleep we need. We are smarter than she is, after all. Right?


I’ve actually been learning a lot about the sport of weightlifting over the last few days. It’s actually a pretty interesting sport. For instance, I would have assumed that you need really big arms in order to do this, but when you look at the athletes, all their muscle mass is centered around their thighs in order to power up the bar. The ones that win are not necessarily the most muscular, but the ones that have the technique down perfect. It’s kind of like hitting a golf ball 300 yards. Really small guys can do it because their technique is better than the next guy. If the lifters are a little bit off when trying to position the weight of the bar directly over the core of their bodies, they end up dropping the bar. The really impressive lifts are the ones that you can see they have the bar misaligned, and they can still muscle the bar up over their head.

Tonight we watched a girl from Thailand who weighed 114 pounds. She won the snatch with a lift of 100 kilograms, which is 220.46 lbs. The snatch is basically pull the bar over your head and stand up. It’s pretty amazing to watch. Then the woman from North Korea, also 114 lbs, tied the World Record with a clean and jerk of 127.5 kg, which for those of you scoring at home is 281 lbs on the bar. Suffice it to say that the technique we are seeing here is pretty amazing. Can’t wait to see what kind of weight the big guys are going to be pushing by the end of the week.

I’m home!

Today was the setup day for Weightlifting. Not really much to do for the tape guys, but that will all change starting tomorrow. The best thing about today is that I get to be home this evening. It’s so nice to come home to a warm blanket, a kitten who likes to sit on your lap, and a nice book. I think I’ll go enjoy that some more.

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