Ruby Payne, beloved companion of sister Emmy, co-feline Amelia, and humans Mason, Calvin, Heather, and James Payne, passed away unexpectedly last weekend.  She was five.

Ruby enjoyed playing, catching wildlife, and relaxing with her humans.  She was fond of the outdoors and enjoyed all of the seasons.  She liked kitty treats, catnip, and surreptitiously licking butter sticks on the counter.  She was very patient with and loving to her sisters and humans.

Ruby excelled in Human Studies and had developed advanced techniques for operating in the human world including skills such as opening doors of different types, operating office equipment, and gently waking sleeping humans.

Ruby and her littermate Emmy were welcomed into the Payne household from the Springfield (Vermont) Humane Society in 2007.  The sisters quickly became an integral part of the family.  Together the household grew and enjoyed life.  After Emmy’s unexplained disappearance in the summer of 2010, Ruby became listless.  While she was still attentive and affectionate to her humans, Ruby lost interest in playing.  The following summer, Amelia joined the household as co-feline.  After some initial tension on Ruby’s part, Amelia was accepted into the family and helped restore Ruby’s zest for life.  The past year had been joyful for the kitties and their humans and this summer has been full of chasing wildlife, rolling in the sand, and playing Cats and Humans.

Ruby was interred in Perkinsville on Sunday, August 26th, 2012 with her humans in attendance.

The family asks that you cherish your companions and think a positive thought for a little grey kitty playing in the grass.


The landlord at my place in SF has instituted a lease and come up with a list of new rules. Rule number one is the best one.


Just to be obnoxious, I affixed the list of rules to the back of the door. Click for the legible version.


Remind me to never, ever, ever fly American Airlines again.

With the Cub Scouts of Pack 264
Weathersfield, Vermont

Two weekends ago, I went skiing with the offspring. I followed O2 down with my camera. Here is part of our run. The curmudgeonly O1 makes a cameo, as well.

The video ends abruptly when my battery dies.


It took forever to get DSL in my Zeitgeist room.  At times over the past year and a half, I have considered that my room may be electronically jinxed (for example, cell phones do not ring in my room) and that broadband access may just not be possible.  I have tried numerous ways to get service; nothing worked.  I finally made an appointment with some idiot telephone company to bring DSL into my room.

I won’t bore you with the complete blow-by-blow of the install process.  Some highlights include;

– Telco showing up four days early for the install (I was at lunch with the boys in Hanover, NH, when they called to get into my SF place)

– Telco failing to show up or call during the four-hour window on the real, actual scheduled date

– Telco failing to show up of call during the four-hour window on the rescheduled date

– Approximately five hours of telephone time with thirty or so people in several departments to get things schedued, rescheduled, properly mailed, properly acknowledged

– Telco showing up two hours early for the second rescheduled appointment (I was at work; thankfully they were willing to wait ’til I could get home)

– The workmanship on the install was so-so

On the plus side, the tech, when he arrived, did get the circuit up and running.

So, now I have broadband.  Now I’m waiting for the router to catch on file.

Filthy Hippie juggles a hulahoop, a devil stick, and a monkey’s head.

Philadelphia Folkfest, August 17, 2008