Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Habits Are Strange Things

My computer is now back to fully functional.  It needed a hard drive replacement.  I did that today.  I feared the old drive had corrupted too much data and I would have to reinstall the system and all my software, etc. etc.  However, it restored everything from the back up and everything seems to be working just fine. 

It has been about a month now that my effort to create a nice productive routine has been increasingly disrupted.  And about a week ago I was finally derailed completely.

And not just my routine.  My cat's routine has apparently been so disrupted that he was taking it out on the other cats.  We didn't realize what was wrong...

Walking without Patsy?  What's the point?

See, every morning, after Cheerios, I go down to my basement office, which is a long thin room, I put on some music, and then do some exercising as I get ready to start the day.  Usually the last part of that routine is to walk up and down -- pace -- because that gets me into thinking.

This summer, I mostly just did walking.

And the cat joined me.  Seriously, he walks ahead of me and turns around at the end and walks the other way.  He looks forward to that every day.  He tries to lead me to the office if I dawdle over my breakfast.  So every day we walk, and do a lot of petting (which is a kind of  "Bend and Stretch" exercise in itself), then after a while he would curl up and take a bath and I would get to writing.

And because I have a quirky sense of humor, my playlist for this activity always starts with Patsy Cline's Walking After Midnight.

Well, two weeks ago, iTunes went kerflooey, and I couldn't access Patsy.  Furthermore, YouTube does not have the same version of the song, so when I set up a play list on the iPad instead, Max was a little freaked out.  He'd still walk, but he'd get puffy and be jumpy.  Less walking, more petting.

The other songs were mostly the same. You can find Bob Seger or CCR or Glenn Miller in pretty much any variety you want on YouTube.  (Heck I change those all the time anyway.) But the routine started with Patsy and so he could never get started right.  And it didn't help that, because my computer wasn't working, I didn't stay and work there in the basement when were were done.

Max never got settled down for the day, and he'd take it out on the other cats.

In the meantime....

I was getting kind of puffy and discombobulated myself.  And frustrated.  I wasn't getting much of anything done.  Except...

I actually did a very efficient job of acquiring some new habits.

Not useful habits, but, well, I now have fingerprints all over my computer screen.  Why?  Because the freaking iPad has a touch screen.  In the two weeks where I was using it, I acquired the habit of interacting with a computer by poking it in the face.

I wish I could acquire good habits that quickly.  I seem to have lost so many of them while the computing crisis was going on.

Max on the other hand...

As soon as I replaced the hard drive and restored the back up, I checked to see if iTunes was working. I clicked on Patsy Cline.  Max was sitting next to me taking a bath.  As soon as the music started, he rolled to his feet and started walking.

And now he and  Cookie (the feral cat he considers an enemy) have been coexisting peacefully all evening.

I guess he knows the habits he wants to keep.

I just gotta go back and re-acquire mine. 

(But it is SOOOoooooo nice having a working computer, with all my stuff on it and everything.  Whee!  I can draw pictures and everything!)

BTW: now that I have my computer back, I finally found Max's version of Walking After Midnight on YouTube.  Go figure.

See you in the funny papers.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Max is a smart cat! I don't think my own felines would even pay enough attention to know which song was the one that was being played.

GrooveShark might be worth a try if iTunes goes kerflooey again...I've gotten so I rather like it (free, like YouTube).

Glad the computer is back up and running!

David Michael said...

Martie, my gray tabby, hangs out with me while I do my workout. We have to swap off on who gets the bench, though sometimes we share it. =)

Somewhat amusing incidents in the earlier days of her visits include her jumping up on my stomach while I was doing incline bench presses--complete with claws so she didn't slip off. And trying to climb on the bench behind me while I was doing situps.


Elise M. Stone said...

Agatha and Spenser have no interest in my indoor exercise routine. I believe that's because it takes place during daylight hours which, as any self-respecting cat knows, is nap time. Instead, just as I am relaxing and dozing off for the evening, usually around 10 PM, they decide to chase one another around the house and assure that I am paying attention to them.

The Daring Novelist said...

Elizabeth - yeah, Max has amazing social intelligence. He's incredibly good at remembering things, and reading body language.

David - LOL. Yes, tummy as trampoline has always been a favorite "wake up" activity around here. However, the only weight involved is the cat itself.

Elise - you have cats named Agatha and Spenser! Max's full name is Max Sparkler, P.I. (The rescue named him Sparkler, because he was born on the 4th of July. But that didn't stick.) We don't know what the "P.I." stands for. It might be "Persistently Interested."