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My week of Monday 19 to Sunday 25 November 2018 was dominated by a grumpy cat, but I won’t go into that.

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Arch Window of the Baked Goods”, being The 9pm Edict episode 81. It’s also on Spreaker and SoundCloud. My guest co-host was Nicholas Fryer. Please let me know if you like this format. We’ll be doing a second one before Christmas, and I may do another episode or two in different formats before the end of the year.

Articles

I also wrote a piece about the Assistance and Access Bill, which will appear on Monday.

Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

The week will be dominated by action in the Australian Parliament, namely debate over the controversial anti-encryption legislation, the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018.

The powerful Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) is still conducting hearings as part of its inquiry, but home affair minister Peter Dutton is pressuring the committee to hurry up, and prime minister Scott Morrison has said he wants the legislation passed in the next two weeks.

Hearings are now scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, and Friday this week. I’m writing some analysis for ZDNet for Monday, and we’ll see what happens after that.

Meanwhile, I’ll be in Sydney on Tuesday for a lunchtime briefing on “Countering Advanced Threats” by Cybereason, and on Friday for a media lunch with executives from Symantec.

Further Ahead

There don’t seem to be any major commitments between now and Christmas, just some single-day or overnight trips to Sydney for media briefings, end-of-year events, and social activities.

There will be at least one episode of The 9pm Edict wth Nicholas Fryer, however, and perhaps one that’s more of a long-form interview.

[Photo: Freelancer Life. Watching the Australian Senate live while grabbing a late breakfast of noodle soup at the Sussex Centre food court in Sydney’s Chinatown, photographed on 14 November 2018. So not this week.]

Waratah in the SnowMy week of Monday 7 Sunday 13 May 2018 was one of those odd weeks when almost nothing productive emerged into the public gaze. I was in fact reasonably productive, but it was all behind the scenes.

This Weekly Wrap is therefore rather brief.

To pad it out, I’ll mention that Thursday was unreasonably cold, with snow at Orange in the west of NSW, and a few flakes were even seen at Wentworth Falls. This gives me an excuse — albeit a poor one — to run my photo of a waratah (the flower) in snow at Bunjaree Cottages on 12 October 2012.

REMINDER: The 9pm Brisbane Forum Pozible campaign is still running. There’s just five days left, and it’s only 19% of the way to its target. Please consider.

Articles, Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

This week continues to see me based in Ashfield, Sydney, working through the Crikey project, and writing for ZDNet much as usual.

On Thursday, the next episode of The 9pm Edict, will be recorded and streamed live at 2100 AEST.

Further Ahead

Things I’ve pencilled in:

The Eye of GathgywnMy week of Monday 30 April to Sunday 6 May 2018 contained these things, in addition to fighting off a cold.

Articles

Podcasts

  • “Announcing ‘The 9pm Brisbane Forum’”, being an audio promo for the Pozible campaign of the same name. You can also listen to it on Speaker or SoundCloud. Do please consider pledging your support if you want the podcasts listed below to happen.

Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

The next few weeks continue to see me based in Ashfield, Sydney, working through the Crikey project, and writing for ZDNet much as usual. I hope to get some walking in, however, and I might post some stuff about the places I visit, including photos.

The next episode of The 9pm Edict, will be recorded and streamed live this Thursday 10 next Tuesday 15 May at 2100 AEST.

Further Ahead

Other things I’ve pencilled in:

Update 8 May 2018: Edited to reflect change in podcast recording date.

[Photo: The Eye of Gathgwyn, the cat I’m currently cat-sitting in Ashfield, Sydney, photographed on 5 May 2018.]

I’ve avoided saying this, because there was enough to cope with last month and I was indulging in wishful thinking. But the time has come to say it. Apollo has disappeared. I don’t think he’ll be seen again. Good luck, my feline friend.

When I bumped out of the Enmore house and just before I left for a trip to the US, I took Apollo to stay with Googler Anthony Baxter. Alas, on his first night there, Apollo found a way to escape — no doubt spooked by the strange environment including three other cats. He hasn’t been seen since. The Baxter residence was far enough from the Enmore house to be well outside his territory, so I don’t think he’ll have found his way to familiar ground. If he had done, we’d have heard by now.

Given that Artemis’ life ended only a month beforehand, I was suppressing the emotions of this second loss. No longer. It seems appropriate to be writing this at Tea Tree Cottage while a night-time thunderstorm rages outside, the rain sweeping through the scrub.

[Photo: Apollo, photographed on 16 November 2008.]

My accommodation for the next couple of weeks at least is sorted. Finally. The Blue Mountains then San Francisco. However a temporary home for Apollo (pictured) has yet to be finalised.

The plan I outlined a week ago seems to be coming together even better than expected.

I bump out of the house in Enmore, Sydney, on Thursday 3 February 2011. I’ll then spend a couple of days in a hotel so I can tidy up loose ends in Sydney before spending a week at Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains — because it turns out that an industry colleague and his wife bought the Bunjaree Cottages there and need someone to do a spot of caretaking and webby work.

And after that I’m off to San Francisco for the RSA Conference.

I don’t know exactly what I’m doing after that, but at least I’ll have time to think about it.

Apollo, meanwhile, needs to be stashed somewhere. I’ve got a couple of local options already, but if you feel the urge to have an attention-demanding cat for a few weeks do let me know.

[Photo: Apollo, photographed in 2004.]

This is the accounting for the Artemis Medical Fund, the informal flow of money to cover Artemis’ veterinary bills in her final week of life in January 2011.

The costs were $109.10 for Pet Vets‘ initial work on 4 January when we thought Artemis simply had food poisoning, $558.85 for the emergency hospitalisation at Sydney After-hours Veterinary Emergency Service (SAVES) at the University of Sydney when she collapsed on 5 January, and $1453.15 more at Pet Vets subsequently as she seemed to recover, and then didn’t. There was also a cab fare of $11.00 when she was transferred to SAVES.

Total costs were $2132.10.

Donations came in two streams, through my business Prussia.Net‘s account at PayPal, and directly to my bank accounts.

Through PayPal, total donations were $2,905.00 less PayPal’s fees of $85.52 for a net income of $2,819.48. Of this total $1,156.04 was from people who indicated that any surplus should be retained by me rather than donated to the Cat Protection Society of NSW (CPS) [see note 1].

Through my bank accounts with Westpac, both Prussia.Net’s and my personal account, total donations were $895.00, of which $375.00 was from people who indicated that any surplus should be retained by me.

Total donations were $3,714.48, of which $1,531.04 might potentially be retained by me. Therefore $2183.44 must be allocated to either Artemis’ veterinary costs or the CPS.

All veterinary and related costs have clearly been covered, with a non-retainable remainder of $51.34.

I have made a donation of $100 to the Cat Protection Society of NSW through their online donation page at Everyday Hero.

Notes

1. Donations were counted are being retainable by me only if the donor explicitly indicated such through an email, Twitter direct message or clear note on their PayPal donation. The one exception was a donation that was made subsequent to Artemis’ passing and where the donor had presumably read that all costs had been covered.

Documentation

The lists of donations published here have been redacted to remove names, addresses and email addresses. Transactions are shown with the donor’s initials and, in the case of PayPal, the transactions number. Original files may be inspected, but I would ask you to sign a non-disclosure agreement to help protect people’s privacy.

I have just published a full accounting of the Artemis Medical Fund. Thank you so much for your generosity. In summary, your donations covered all costs, and the remainder was almost the same as the total from people who told me to keep the remaining funds myself. There was a small difference, a little over $50, so I’ve made a $100 donation to the Cat Protection Society of NSW through their online donation page at Everyday Hero.

15 January 2011 by Stilgherrian | No comments

Artemis breathed her last breath at 12.37pm AEDT today. It was a peaceful moment. I held her while she moved from this world into the next. I cried. I am crying now.

Artemis led a gloriously adventurous life, if perhaps short at a little over seven years. She hunted everything from moths and grasshoppers to rats and noisy miner birds, eating most of them. She even brought us the striped marsh frog from the garden pond — three times before she learned, the hard way, that it’s poisonous. She never did catch a currawong, and I’m glad of that.

Artemis used up one of her nine lives when her tail was crushed and eventually amputated.

Today I chose to take her ninth.

Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks to today’s X-rays and ultrasound, we have some answers. Sadly for Artemis, the answers are not good. Not good at all.

Artermis’ left kidney is quite small, only 2.8cm long. A normal cat kidney might be 3.5 to 4.5cm. Perhaps she was born with it small, perhaps it’s been damaged later. Kidneys do shrink with some chronic problems. But either way, it’s clearly dodgy.

The right kidney is bigger, but there’s a kidney stone. It’s only 1.5mm in diameter, but we’re talking about a cat not a human. That stone is currently blocking the urethra, and perhaps a back-up of urine is inflating that kidney. It’s possible the stone has only just moved there, which could explain the reversal of Artemis’ blood results over the past few days.

“I would have thought she wouldn’t have recovered as well as she did initially with that stone there,” Dr Emily Payne at Pet Vets told me this afternoon.

Now if this were simply a kidney stone, we’d just operate and remove it. “If it was just that one kidney, the prognosis wouldn’t be too bad,” Dr Payne said. But with the other kidney clearly not right? “The outlook isn’t that great.”

Since so many people now have a stake in Artemis’ future, I’ll present the options and ask for your advice.

Read the rest of this entry »

Well that’s not good. With intravenous fluids reduced to 1.5x maintenance levels for two days, Artemis’ blood test results headed in the wrong direction. We now need to discover if there’s some reason for the kidneys not working other than, well, failed kidneys.

Dr Meredith Gibbs from Pet Vets phoned through the results a short time ago. Compared with the positive signs 48 hours ago, it’s “disappointing”.

Creatin levels climbed back to 690. Urea was back up to 22.7, although that’s not the worst it’s been. Red blood cell count is still low, in the mid-20s instead of the 30+ it should be in a cat — although that’s possibly just a symptom of the high fluid levels. Electrolytes are still a bit whacky.

So Artemis goes back on the 2x maintenance levels of intravenous fluids — the poor man’s dialysis — until we figure out what’s going on.

And yet, Artemis has reportedly been “even more feisty” than she was on Sunday. She’s been eating overnight, she’s interacting with staff, and she’s showing all the signs of simply being frustrated with having to be in a cage.

After consultations with a specialist at the University of Sydney, a plan has been agreed upon. Ultrasound, X-rays and attempts to culture potential infectious agents to see if there’s some treatable cause of the kidneys not working. That’ll begin tomorrow and we’ll have news of the ultrasound and X-rays around 24 hours from now.

If none of those procedures reveal anything treatable, then we’re looking at untreatable kidney failure. It may not be that. But it’s a distinct possibility, despite Artemis’ apparent external health.

As for exploring the options, there is a veterinary surgeon in Melbourne who does kidney transplants. Enquiries have been made, and we’ll see what the requirements are, but… you know… We’ll see.

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