dpkworldwide.tumblr.com is no more

Well, I got sort of ambitious over the weekend. I used the free Tumblr backup program to copy all my entries to my Mac and then I deleted my account. The next step will be to go through it all and copy any posts worth saving here. By that, I mean anything I actually wrote myself or anything I feel is particularly important (like all the recent Japan earthquake items I reblogged). I won’t be copying everything over wholesale because some of it was purely frivolous.

Which is one of the reasons I ditched Tumblr–I did see quite a bit of interesting stuff there (especially photography), but it was more or less just a constant source of “noise”. That and the system was notoriously unreliable–you never knew when it would be busy, down, etc. I now will consolidate to one place (here).

Interesting: that means I’ve ditched both Facebook and Tumblr this year. Now all I’ve got is this WP blog, my self-made website on MobileMe (dpkworldwide.com) and my Twitter account. I think that’ll be plenty…

Will I blog again?

Hi there. I sheepishly return to my blog, thinking once again that this time for sure I will start blogging on a regular basis. Sigh…

I finally sat down with a couple of “How to Learn WordPress” eBooks I bought and started looking at this in a new light. I’m particularly interested because it seems to be the easiest and best way for me to actually interface with my web presence from my iPad. I also think I can get rid of a lot of my online chaff and superfluity by consolidating here.

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Auspicious 2011

Well, now that the first month of the new year is already half finished (!!!), I figured I could at least post a blog update. Maybe I will use this medium more this year since amongst other things I’ve deleted my Facebook account.

This is the Year of the Rabbit–MY year. This is will complete my fourth cycle around and–most importantly–should be a lot better than last year, the horrible Year of the Tiger.

So far, I’ve had my current work contract extended through May, it SNOWED at my house on January 2nd and I got a ticket (well, two out of three isn’t bad…)

I have a lot of things planned for this year. I’m laying the groundwork to do some serious reallocation of my life energy and work. I’m also hoping to continue traveling as I did last autumn (which, I of course didn’t blog about–but I went to England three times on business and likewise on my first ever trip to Mumbai, India).

I wish everyone a very productive and relaxing 2011.

今年もよろしくお願いします。

The Meaning of Doug (according to urbandictionary.com anyway…)

All right, all right—I bought into the whole “Look up your name on urbandictionary.com” wheeze this week. And about me it says:

The classic “boy next door” whom everyone loves, and gets along with. He has it all. He is handsome, talented, intelligent, popular and kind. He’s the type of guy that you trust completely and can tell anything to. Everyone crushes on him, and everyone wants to be his friend.
Although he may seem like he has everything going for him, he is usually very unhappy and self-conscious, but does a good job of hiding it. Since he is a pretty good liar, he may be an actor or a politician.
He may or may not have a rough/difficult home life. [FYI, I didn’t…]
He has sought love and found it in all the wrong places. He could potentially fall in love with, and spend the rest of his life with, his best friend.
Ultimately, he has a good heart, the right intentions, and the spunk to make something of himself someday.

The young man on the billboard was handsome, vibrant, and carefree. This was far from the truth. He was Doug: young, scared, and fighting for answers.

Far be it from me to say how true I think this is, but I think it’s pretty accurate…

Victoria


This morning at exactly 10:00 AM, the sweetest kitty in the world had her heart stopped.

As I wrote just over a month ago, Victoria had become really sick while I was in Japan and despite her fighting for all she was worth, it finally came time for me to release her from any suffering. Over the weekend, she got a case of the runs so I took her back to the Vet on Monday afternoon. Doctor Tracy examined her and found she’d actually lost 30% of her body weight in a month even though she’d started eating again—she weighed a mere 4.8 pounds. There was also something new that wasn’t there a month ago: a disturbing bone swelling on her upper right jaw which she said was probably a tumor—it had also caused a serious tooth abscess. I left her overnight again so Dr. Tracy could give some antibiotics and pull the tooth. I didn’t sleep well last night…

When I showed up at 9:30 this morning per the doctor’s instructions, Victoria seemed fairly peppy. She practically leapt into my lap and buried her face in my hand to be petted. Dr. Tracy said that the tooth had come out fine and that we could try to see what happened next but that the prognosis wasn’t good. For the first time in my 45 1/2 years, I personally had to make a life-and-death decision, and I chose what I thought would be best for Victoria. It sure was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Dr. Tracy gave her the first injection to put her to sleep, then wrapped her up in a towel and I held her in my lap. I petted my baby girl gently, rubbed her under the chin (she always loved that…) and kissed her head as she fell asleep. The doctor had turned down the lights in the room and left us alone—Victoria went to sleep with her eyes open. I felt her cuddle close to me, then relax, then just fade away. Dr. Tracy came back, we placed her on the table and she received the final injection in her frail little arm that stopped her heart. I stroked her head one last time as the tears continued flowing down my face—and Dr. Tracy took Victoria away from me for the last time.

I know this was the right thing to do—as stewards on this earth, we have the ability to make this kind of choice for our pets to alleviate their suffering humanely. But it was just so difficult. I know she was an animal, but she was also my companion for 16 years and everyone will tell you that she was just the sweetest cat you could ever meet. I kept wishing I’d brought her to the vet sooner; that maybe I should have stayed home from Japan to be here and notice her getting sick sooner. You also can’t help but anthropomorphize as well—what was she thinking about me as she huddled close in her final moments? Was she in pain? Relieved that she could just close her eyes as I cuddled her? Was she sad or upset with me?

I can remember why I picked her at the West Valley Animal Shelter over 16 years ago: she was so cute and so calm, sitting in her cage with one sibling, her paws tucked under her chest. She was so quiet—she never meowed unless she was really, really upset about something. Whenever you walked into the room she’d walk in front of you looking up with her pretty green eyes then fall over like a lump expecting to get petted and pampered.

She was also the only cat I’ve ever known that played fetch! In her younger days, I’d be lying in bed watching TV and throw little sponge rubber balls across the room; she’d leap up, twisting and turning, and dash off to get it. She’d then come trotting back, ball in her mouth and drop it right next to me begging for another round. We’d play that for an hour or more almost every day…

But she’d finally gotten too sick; she had lost all the weight she could possibly lose. Her last few days were spent lying around without even the strength to flip her tail—she’d stopped eating again, probably due to the bad tooth. I wish I’d cuddled with her more at home over the weekend. It really hurts to have to part, but she’ll be happier in kitty heaven.

So now it’s just Max and me. I don’t think I’ll be getting another cat, and I just hope Max won’t get weird being alone after all these years (he’s actually a month older than Victoria was, so he’s always had a companion). He’s as strong as a horse and eats like one too—just the opposite of my poor little girl.

I loved my baby girl and will miss her, but am glad she won’t suffer any longer. She was a real trooper and put up a good fight, but nobody lives forever.