New Design Tweak: Version 12.01
Posted Friday, October 1, 2004 at 12:01 a.m.
Category: Site Progress

On Wednesday, September 29, I updated some of our style sheets to fix some headings in the navigation bar, that were displaying improperly on the latest Mozilla browsers and Netscape 7.2.

I decided against changing the section titles in the navigation because the title attributes are quite clear as to the content of each section. On most browsers, all you need to do is hover your mouse over any sectional link to see a tooltip describing what the section is about. Anyway, most section titles are fairly descriptive as they are.

What I did do is modify some scripting. JavaScript is still used for the email address on the Contact page; to bring in theme and special style sheets for various browsers; to write only the time-specific greeting on the Home page (and also News Archive pages, beginning with October 2004). But the time stamp (now given in our local time), as well as the Home page logo, are generated dynamically by PHP and will automatically change with the date and time of day. In addition, the information on What is the Oo Kingdom? and Our Site is User-Friendly have been updated.

Just to make everything look different again, I switched the style theme again, this time to Memorial Gold. This theme (at least something like it) was in place around September 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked the United States of America, killing about 3000 people. This prompted the so-called War on Terror that President George W. Bush has been so courageously leading for the past three years. Also, to declare our support for the President in his campaign for re-election, we have added a support banner to the end of our Home page and linked it to the official George W. Bush website. Normally I don’t say much about politics on The Oo Kingdom, but with my family’s full support, I am doing so for this emotional, issue-driven campaign season.

New Cat Pictures Posted
Posted Tuesday, October 5, 2004 at 4:40 p.m.

There is a new section in Ummamum’s Picture Place called For the Love of Cats. Of 19 pictures in the section, 18 are of our darling cats; Joe took most of them. Enjoy!

Sickness Continues
Posted Saturday, October 9, 2004 at 10:40 p.m.
Categories: Charlie, Wendi and Joe

I (Charlie) have been battling a cold, virus and/or ear infection since September 13. Today is the first day I have not experienced symptoms, so I believe I am finally over it. Wendi just finished an antibiotic and is on the mend. Joe, however, missed school Friday due to a sore throat. A strep culture taken at the clinic returned negative, so it’s probably a virus. He is expected to return to school on Monday.

New Kitten Arrives
Posted Saturday, October 9, 2004 at 10:50 p.m.
Category: Our Cats: Stormy

We got a new kitten at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6, 2004. The black-and-silver-striped female is believed to be about four months old, and Joe named her Stormy. Already she has brought “storms” to the household, because our other two cats are not used to her yet, nor is she used to them, so they hiss and growl at each other. For now we are keeping her in the master bedroom, away from the others, and we bring her out for a brief visit several times each day.

More information and some fine photos of Stormy can be viewed at our new photo section entitled Stormy Makes Her Debut.

More Stormy Pictures
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2004 at 3:28 p.m.

19 more pictures, mostly of our new kitten Stormy, have been posted in Ummamum’s Picture Place under the title Stormy Begins to Adjust.

Armed Forces Tribute Link
Posted Friday, October 15, 2004 at 12:20 p.m.
Category: Patriotic and Political

I normally don’t do this, but a friend sent me a link in an email that I am passing on to you because it is excellent. If you have a slow connection (dialup, for example) please be patient as the Flash movie will take a while to load.

Here is the link: Armed Forces Tribute 

A Nice Anniversary
Posted Wednesday, October 20, 2004 at 7:45 p.m.
Category: Seasonal

Wendi and I had our 22nd wedding anniversary on Saturday, October 16, 2004, but I had to work, so we celebrated on Monday, the 18th. We ate ribeye steaks for dinner at Roherty’s, a fine restaurant in Janesville. Later that evening, the youth pastor from our church came over with his fiancée, for cake, ice cream and coffee. All five of us then joined in a game of Payday, a fun board game. The youth pastor’s fiancée won.

Stormy’s Antics
Posted Wednesday, October 20, 2004 at 9:50 p.m.
Category: Our Cats: Stormy

Our new kitten, Stormy, has been with us for two weeks now. At first she hissed and growled at Shadow and Sunny, our two grown-up cats, but now she is finally starting to get along with them. As early as October 15, she managed to get nose-to-nose with Sunny for a few seconds before hissing at him. Today she let Sunny bathe her for a minute or so and didn’t hiss at all. The two of them will meow for each other from time to time.

When Stormy does hiss, it sounds very raspy, sorta like someone blowing his nose, or perhaps passing gas. Sometimes it sounds like she is spitting, or as one of Joe’s friends put it, “horking up a big loogie” (using the word “hork” to mean the summoning of phlegm, in preparation for spitting, and “loogie” to denote said phlegm). Yuck! Why did I even mention this? Maybe because it was fun?

The mini-blind on the dining room window is loose on one end; it just sits up there. This morning during the 8:00 hour, as Wendi and I were watching Charmed on TV, Stormy climbed the curtain on that window and then pushed on the top of the blind. The blind fell to the floor with a loud thump!

We keep Stormy in the bedroom most of the time because her young tummy cannot handle the adult Cat Chow, which she tries to eat if we leave her unattended in the house. There is a double door which leads from our bedroom into the living room; normally we keep it closed. A large camera bag sits in front of the door to keep cats from getting in or out. Little Miss Houdini (a.k.a. Stormy) managed to escape the bedroom not once, but twice today: once this morning and once this evening. Finally, I pushed the coffee table up against the door to prevent further escapes. Then I tried to catch Stormy to take her back to the bedroom, but she eluded me several times before I finally nabbed her. Once in my arms, she meowed and purred—the little monster!

Joe calls Stormy “the devil” and would scarcely admit now that he was the one who begged us to get a third cat. As for me, she’s my Baby Girl, and I love her despite (or maybe because of) her antics. I don’t like the scratchy claws though; she got Wendi’s hand pretty good this evening, trying to run away from her.

Some Words from Wendi
Posted Wednesday, October 20, 2004 at 10:00 p.m.

Wendi’s newly published article entitled Some Words on Life is a good read in general, but a must-read for anyone who feels that life isn’t worthwhile.

We’re Sick—Again
Posted Monday, October 25, 2004 at 12:07 p.m.
Categories: Charlie and Joe

At the moment, only Wendi is not ill; her back and knees are sore, but she is actually the perkiest and most energetic among us (except for the cats, who seem to have an endless supply of energy. More on that in a later post).

Joe called home from school last Friday (October 22) at 12:39 p.m. He had a nagging cough which left a burning sensation, and a little dizziness. I picked him up and took him home. He saw Dr. Ziegler at 3:50 p.m. and was diagnosed with mild pneumonia. The doctor put him on Zithromax, an antibiotic, for five days, but by this morning he had yet to show much improvement. The cough was still pretty bad, and the dizziness was actually worse.

We took him to see Dr. Ziegler again today at 10 a.m. The lungs appear to be clearing up, but there is a lot of wax buildup in the ears, and that could be causing some of the dizziness. An appointment was made for Joe to see Dr. Ellison, an ear, nose and throat specialist, on Tuesday, November 2. Meanwhile, Joe can take Delsym cough syrup for the cough, and he may be back in school as early as tomorrow.

I (Charlie) had to see Dr. Ellison last Thursday (October 21) at 3:45 p.m. because my ears messed up again. I was well for about ten days (October 9–18) before the popping, pressure and earaches began again (see earlier posts: September 29 and October 9). Dr. Ellison found excessive ear wax in both ears and removed it. There was probably about two milliliters of the crud in each ear, and from the deep brown color (it looked like cat poop), it was evident that the stuff had been in there for a long time. Immediately my hearing improved dramatically, especially in the right ear, which had been totally plugged. I heard songs on the radio as though for the first time! The left ear, however, felt wrong yet; the doctor told me that it may take three to four days for my brain to adjust to processing what the ears were now hearing. So I waited, and things got progressively worse again. The popping and pressure continued, and now I feel occasional shooting pains in both ears. I have a new appointment set for tomorrow at 2 p.m. I will report again after the new appointment.

We’re Getting Better
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2004 at 5:25 p.m.
Categories: Charlie and Joe

Joe is getting stronger; he made it through the day at school but now must face a load of makeup work.

I (Charlie) saw Dr. Ellison today at 2 p.m. My audio test was fine in both ears, including 100% on speech recognition. There was slight (but normal) pressure in the right ear. When the doctor examined the ears, both ears were clear and the eardrums looked fine. He said that the popping sensation was a normal function of the eustachian tube, which runs from behind the eardrum to the back of the throat cavity and serves to equalize the pressure on the eardrum. The sensation should be perceived as normal once the brain adjusts to the newly normalized hearing; this may take a while because of the severity of the blockage that was cleared up last Thursday.

As far as any dizziness is concerned, the doctor blamed this on possible fatigue, dehydration, or simply working hard. After all, I had been ill for quite a long time.

Stormy Breaks the Ice
Posted Wednesday, October 27, 2004 at 4:53 p.m.
Category: Our Cats: Stormy

In an earlier post I described how our new kitten was (or was not) getting along with our other two cats. As of today, I can safely say that she is getting along with the others quite well. At 12:45 p.m. I saw Shadow and Sunny both bathing Stormy at the same time. At 1:45 p.m. Stormy and Sunny were seen playing and wrestling together. On rare occasion she still growls at the other cats, but not very loudly, and I heard her hiss once or twice during the course of several hours, but nothing more than that.

If she were not still too young to handle eating the adult cat food, we could keep all three cats together in the house 24/7 now. But due to the food issue, we must keep her in the bedroom much of the time, and hide the adults’ food when she is out.

The Everlasting Campaign
Posted Wednesday, October 27, 2004 at 5:17 p.m.
Category: Patriotic and Political

Thank goodness the election takes place in only six days! I would like to extend a series of “eeeee” statements (as in, “Eeeee-nough!”) to those involved in the long, bitter presidential campaign. Pardon my bias; you will clearly see which candidate I support from my statements.

  1. Eeeee-nough of hearing how Bush lost more jobs than any president in the past 72 years! Greedy corporate execs are to blame for outsourcing jobs to foreign countries.
  2. Eeeee-nough of hearing about Kerry’s pathetic and self-contradictory voting record in the Senate! Everyone is well aware of it by now, and his supporters don’t seem to care anyway.
  3. Eeeee-nough of hearing that the war in Iraq was a “colossal error” when in fact Kerry voted in favor of it in the first place! And as for Bush making a bad choice, he acted based upon the best intelligence available at the time. It was only later that we learned that the intelligence was wrong.
  4. Eeeee-nough of hearing that Bush doesn’t have a plan, and that Kerry’s record doesn’t match his rhetoric! We’ve heard all of the mudslinging by now; let’s get on with deciding who will run the country for the next four years.

My message is not entirely bitter: I am glad that the bickering is issue-oriented this year, unlike in 2000, when it was more character-oriented. But it gets tiresome; don’t you agree? So be sure to get out and vote for the candidate of your choice on November 2.

Ummamum, Ummamum…
Posted Wednesday, October 27, 2004 at 5:25 p.m.
Category: Leftovers

Oops: I forgot to mention the latest addition to our Romeo and Juliet page in Ummamum’s World. A visitor from Idaho sent me a little note and an addition to the page.