To those of you who commented on how much I knitted while we were on vacation: when one is camping in a place where the only thing to do is hike, and one is not a hiker, knitting -- and napping and reading and occasionally going into town -- is pretty much all there is to do. So that is what I did, most happily.
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I have had to drive Da Yeep (shown above in a photo from last December) for the last week (minus the plow) because Smokey is using my car to get to work while his van in the shop awaiting a brake job.
Da Yeep has a little electrical problem that drains the battery if it sits for more than 12 hours or so. More than once in the past week one of us has had to hook it up to the battery charger to get it going. As a temporary fix until he has time to do a full trouble-shooting exploration, Smokey put in a battery disconnector. Whenever I park the car I have to raise the hood and turn a knob; when I want to use the car I must raise the hood and tighten that knob. It is inconvenient, but better than having a dead battery.
Why, yes, I have gotten some odd looks in parking lots...
Because it has been sitting outside all the time, Da Yeep has also become a bit of a spider mecca. I counted three spiders of various sizes on the inside of the windshield when I drove it today.
Luckily I am not particularly bothered by spiders as long as they keep their distance...
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Bear, our senior dog, had surgery again this week. She had something in one paw that was making it increasingly difficult for her to walk. That something turned out to be a tumor that the vet thinks was cancerous. But she is an old dog, and we hope that any recurrence grows as slowly as she walks. The vet found a couple other tumors, too -- one on her tongue and one at her other end -- but those did not look problematic under the microscope.
I emailed Elder Son, who is very, very attached to Bear and he replied:
Hey, this may be a little weird, but could you ask him if he could email me the images? If they're digital that is, not so easy to send if their microscope isn't hooked up to a computer. I'm just curious to look at the cellular pathology and see if canine neoplasia looks like the human neoplasia I learned about in pathology... anatomy's so dull that a pathology slide will be absolutely fascinating by comparison. I really liked pathology, and I'll probably TA for it next year.
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I was just reading a 70-page pdf document that summarized the Wisconsin state budget bill that was signed into law a couple weeks ago. (Yes, it was fascinating, thanks for asking.) But besides all the normal budget stuff about money, I also read this:
The budget creates a process for declaring and registering domestic partnerships between two individuals who meet the following criteria: 1) they are at least 18 years old and capable of consenting to the domestic partnership; 2) neither individual is married to, or in a domestic partnership with, another individual; 3) the two individuals share a common residence; 4) the two individuals are not nearer of kin to each other than second cousins; and 5) the individuals are member of the same sex...
...[d]omestic partners will be considered a “member of the family” for purposes of victim notification; receive the same privilege from testifying against one another as husband and wives; be entitled to damages under wrongful death actions; receive Crime Victim Compensation Program funds; be able to title assets in joint tenancy; domestic partners will be subject to the same inheritance law provisions as spouses; have the same rights of access to individuals in care facilities as spouses; have the same rights of consent to medical treatment and access to medical records as spouses; have access to insurance provided by fraternal organizations; be exempt from the real estate transfer and manufactured home title transfer fees for transfers between partners; be entitled to worker’s compensation death benefits; receive the same coverage for Family and Medical Leave as spouses; be subject to the same procedures for transferring a motor vehicle title at the time of a partner’s death as for spouses.
The budget also allows domestic partners who are public employees to qualify for
Wisconsin Retirement System benefits, including health insurance and survivor benefits.
A couple years ago Wisconsin voters passed a constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriages and civil unions:
Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.
There will certainly be court challenges to this budget provision, but for now I am happy, even though it is kinda sneaky to put something like this in a budget bill.
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On Smokey's cousin's porch in Laramie, on our way home from vacation: