Plumber fixed the drip

The tub is no longer leaking. My neighbor said that the build quality on these houses isn’t very good and I believe him. This was the second time the tub had to be repaired because of a drip. One thing I did learn with these old Delta faucets: the springs have to be elongated just a little bit with a gentle squeeze from a pair of pliers. Otherwise, they are a little too short and don’t seat properly.

Kitteh likes water drip

I turned off the water to the house when I went to work and during the day over the weekend. I turned the water back on overnight so the pipes wouldn’t freeze. I was upstairs looking at the faucet, and BrieBrie decided to try and help me.

Help from BrieBrie means her investigating each tool and playing with anything that might move. BrieBrie had her back feet on the ground and her front feet on the tub rim. Just too cute.


For size comparison, here is a picture taken a few minutes after the first one. BrieBrie is sitting on the tub edge and Phaedra is on the floor near the tub.

2015-02-15 23.47.08

Leaky bathtub faucet

A few months ago, my upstairs bathtub faucet began to drip. Just a little at first, but over the months it became a constant background noise. I couldn’t stand it and found a video on how to repair the Delta faucet. It is an older faucet, with a push-button diverter and a single knob that controls water amount and temperature. I took apart the faucet handle, replaced the inner rubber seals and springs. The leak stopped.

A month ago when the dripping started again. Just a few drips. If I moved the shower knob down and to the left, then the dripping would usually stop. The dripping went from a few paltry drips to a continuous stream.

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Nothing I have tried stops the stream of water. It’s hot water, too. Since it’s been warm, I shut off the household water when I went to bed last night and have called the home warranty place. They are going to send someone out on Monday to look at it.

Resume help

I’m helping a friend with a resume tonight so I’ve been reading through links on the latest and greatest in writing resumes. Most of the techniques I’ve used are still valid. The format needs to be updated but the general items that are included are the same.

It’s interesting that the idea of a professional “landing page” is now popular. A landing page used to be what you ended up on after clicking through on a banner ad. I suppose I’d rather see the term professional site or page instead of “landing page.”

When we were creating my friend’s resume, we used a bunch of different articles and sites for inspiration and information on current trends in resume writing.

Here are the links I found to help her tackle writing a resume:

Resumes for people with substantial experience

What if you are at the opposite end of spectrum and have a resume that is packed with many years of experience? If you have a resume that is too dense, will a hiring manager even read it?

Here are some suggestions for these situations:

Newer trends also seem to be suggesting using Helvetica instead of old standbys like Times New Roman. The Bloomberg article on fonts and resumes is an interesting read.

Update on kitties

BrieBrie and Phaedra have settled in and are doing incredibly well. BrieBrie has got her full Maine Coon on and has blossomed into a furrball. Phaedra is a cuddle cat: she has started sitting on my lap and purring. The little scaredy-cat has turned out to be pretty brave.

My parents were down for Thanksgiving and stayed in my room. This was the first time the kitties had to deal with people other than me staying in my room. Mom came in and they immediately loved all over her legs, purred against her, and were just so happy to be petted. They weren’t sure what to do when Ed came in. They did come out for him eventually. The kitties even slept on the bed with my parents.

Phaedra and BrieBrie have come so far from when I brought them home at the end of March. Every time I open the door, the kitties come running and greet me. They sleep with me every night. When I’m downstairs, I can hear them galloping upstairs like a heard of miniature elephants. Some nights, like tonight, they are quiet.

To show how much they have changed, here are some comparison pictures. Here is a picture of when I first met BrieBrie at Cat Angels.

BrieBrie on the chair at Cat Angels
BrieBrie on the chair at Cat Angels

Here is BrieBrie over the weekend, with her long haired heritage showing. She’s such a lovely cat.

BrieBrie, Thanksgiving weekend, Nov 2014
BrieBrie, Thanksgiving weekend, Nov 2014
BrieBrie Thanksgiving weekend, 2014
BrieBrie Thanksgiving weekend, 2014

And Phaedra, hiding under the chair at Cat Angels, on the same visit when I first met her. She was so scared, poor thing.

Phaedra, hiding and not very social
Phaedra, hiding and not very social

She is now an aggressive cuddle cat. She’s hysterical when she plays. The laser light is her friend and she goes after it with a frantic passion.

Phaedra looking very cute
Phaedra looking very cute
Phaedra in the sink 2
Phaedra in the sink 2
Phaedra by the food bowl
Phaedra by the food bowl

And finally, BrieBrie and Phaedra in the early morning curled up with me. This is probably one of my favorite pictures of them.

Morning with the kitties
Morning with the kitties

Kenya came up lame

My Mom’s lovely mare Kenya came up lame today. (Kenya is Kasane’s sister by the same sire.) Kenya’s back right leg was slightly swollen above the fetlock. We had the vet out and it turns out Kenya had an abscess. It cleared up shortly after about a week of bandaging… but she’s all better now.

BrieBrie had Horner’s Syndrome

This past Friday evening, I noticed that BrieBrie was holding her left eye closed a little. I didn’t worry about it because I figured she had gotten into something. If it still didn’t look right in the morning, I would call the vet.

Her eyes were noticeably different on Saturday morning. Her pupils were dilated unevenly: the right one was almost fully dilated open while the left was a slit with the still-droopy upper eyelid. Her behavior, demeanor, playfulness, and appetite were normal. She had no trouble seeing: she chased the heck out of the laser pointer light.


I called my vet at Piedmont Animal Hospital in Hillsborough and was told to come in immediately. BrieBrie was so good for the vet. No fussy, no struggling, just curled up quietly and let the vet look at her eyes.

BrieBrie’s eyes looked perfectly normal structurally. No apparent damage any where, whether externally or internally. The vet said that usually the symptoms will resolved in a few days and that there wasn’t a chance of going blind. (I was worried about stroke or a neurological issue because of my experience with other animals.) I’ve attached a picture from Saturday morning and a picture from Sunday afternoon. Her eyes started looking more normal on Sunday and today they look back to normal.


The vet said that BrieBrie has Horner’s Syndrome, a issue that can come up for no evident reason and go away on its own.

I have been so proud of her and Phaedra. When they go to the vet, they are so good. No fussing, no hissing, just quiet and patient. They are both gentle kitties.

Update June 2015: I took BrieBrie back to the vet when she had another episode of what I thought was Horner’s Syndrome. Horner’s actually effects the third eye lid, which isn’t affected when BrieBrie has her episodes. My vet consulted with the local vet college and thinks BrieBrie has an issue with a spastic pupil instead of Horner’s.

Upgrading Mac Pro video card

I upgraded the Mac Pro’s stock video card to a Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 600 with 2 GB of video ram. The card requires a special power cable: PCIe Power Cable for Mac. No local stores had this part in stock, so I ordered it from Amazon. It finally arrived so the card was installed last night.

I followed the video instructions below and had the card installed in a few minutes. It was a little disconcerting because when the system booted the screen remained black until the login screen appeared.

I’ve been running a few days with the card installed. The only problem I’ve had is that the system doesn’t always seem to come back from sleep. When that happens, I end up having to reboot the machine. Not crazy about this but I’m not sure what’s causing the problem.

More investigation, which means another post!

New-to-me Mac Pro

Periodically at work they offer old systems to employees as part of a employee-only sale. For the first time that I can remember, Mac Pros were available. There were a few early 2009 and 2008 models. My friend and I were lucky enough to get the only two early 2009 models left.

I currently have an iMac that I bought in early 2010 (listed as late 2009 model). It has a Core 2 Duo Intel processor. I’ve upgraded it to 8 GB of RAM, which helps. It has a lethargic 256MB video card that barely keeps up with the games I’d like to play. The hard drive was replaced under warranty. The screen is lovely with no bad pixels.

I bought the iMac when my old Hackintosh quit working. What I had really wanted instead of the Hackintosh was a Mac Pro because of the upgrade capabilities and power. Unfortunately, the cost of a Mac Pro was way out of my price range.

Until now. The Mac Pro might be old, but it still has a better processor, graphics card, and upgrade possibilities (four PCIe slots and four hard drive bays!). The system I got had 8 GB of RAM, a 640 GB hard drive, and the standard 512 MB nVidia graphics card. No operating system was installed.

Upgrades for a Mac Pro are different than upgrading a regular PC. Mac-compatible graphics cards are expensive, even old ones. If you know about building hackintoshes, then you know that there is an avid community that has written drivers for dozens of additional pieces of hardware. Why not use the kernel extensions (kexts, the equivalent of drivers) the community has written to enable hardware on a real Mac Pro?

I chose to add a new wifi card, upgrade the video card, upgrade the RAM, and add a new primary hard drive (since the 640 GB was probably original). RAM and hard drive were very easy to do: system now has 32 GB of RAM and a 2 TB hard drive, with the 640 GB available as extra storage space.

Quite a few of the hackintosh sites recommended a TP Link PCI express wifi card. The specific model (4800) wasn’t available locally, but the Wifi-N 300Mbs card (model TL-WN881ND) was in stock at a local shop. I installed the card and found a kext on a hackintosh site that let me get the card up and running immediately. Perfect.

I also got a MSI GTX 660 nVidia card, which should be natively supported from what I read. Unfortunately, I have to order a special power cable to be able to attach the card to the motherboard ($8 on Amazon). Hopefully by the end of the week I will have the system completely configured.

I’m using Migration Assistant tonight to move the data from the iMac to the Mac Pro. The cool thing is that I should be able to get enough from the iMac to cover the cost of the Mac Pro and the upgrades I’ve done.

Reactions to declawing

After Kiesha died, I adopted BrieBrie and Phaedra fron Cat Angels rescue.  The two kitties have had their challenges, but for the most part they are very sweet. When I adopted them, I signed a contract stating I would never let them be out door cats or have them declawed.

Last night, I started watching a video about one vet’s fight against declawing cats. I couldn’t even get through the credits. I had to shut the show off.

Why would anyone mutilate a cat’s paws like that? If you have cats, then you adapt or teach them not to do things by providing alternatives that are more appealing.

It was very depressing. I went upstairs and played with the cats as therapy.

Size comparison

Briebrie is almost exactly twice as big as Phaedra. Here they are both sleeping in the same sink.