Sunday, May 25, 2014

Warning: Sad Post Ahead


If you don't want to be sad and I don't blame you one bit, I wouldn't read this post.

This is part of my healing/grieving process and as difficult as it is for me to type this out, it helps a bit to try and come to terms with everything.

Friday evening we found out our little Wookie man had an incurable disease called FIP. To say we were devastated would be an understatement. It is one of those things where when symptoms start to materialize, it can be a matter of days, weeks, or months, but there is no treatment and no cure, it is just a matter of time.

He was having to go to the bathroom 20+ times per day and when it was bothering him, he might go 10+ times in a few minute time period. He also started to lose his eye sight in one eye and just started to withdraw and you could tell he was uncomfortable and would no longer play.

Knowing the prognosis and outcome, we made the VERY very difficult decision to end his suffering and he went to the rainbow bridge to meet his brothers, Stinky and Poker and lots of other cousins/friends on Saturday afternoon.

It is not right to have to make a decision like that for such a young kitty that we loved so much. In the 9 months we had him, he had gone through so much.

Shortly after we got him he developed ringworm, which he must have picked up from the shelter and during the sulfur dip treatment for that, he had a reaction and lost all of his hair for a month. We felt so bad for him, since most of his first month here he was in quarantine.

After about a month and a half he was good to go. Then a few months later he developed an upper respiratory infection that took several weeks to go away.

He also commonly had bouts of loose stool at various times, which looking back, the URI and loose stool and not being able to gain weight were probably all early symptoms of the disease.

After we got back from our recent vacation, we noticed he lost a significant amount of weight and wasn't himself and after trying to treat his stomach/potty problems with some antibiotics with no luck, took him back in for a full blood workout and found out the bad news.

After researching what the FIP progression looks like, after talking over things and sleeping on it, we made the incredibly difficult decision to put an end to his suffering.

It is such a hard thing to do and I second guessed our decision several times throughout that day. A lot of tears were shed and continue to be shed. Even despite everything he was going through, he slept curled up next to Marla every night like he always did.

The grieving process is such a difficult thing, we know deep down inside that we made the right decision, but you feel guilt, despair, anger, extreme sadness and you still second guess things after the fact.

It's so difficult since pets cannot tell you how they feel and you cannot explain what is going on.

But Wookie is in a better place, with no more suffering and we need to celebrate all of the good times we had with him.

Here is the post I did when we first got him, detailing how it all came about.  Such a good little kitty! He had such a little personality!

He was an acrobat, running from one side of the place to the other, leaping from the top of his very high up kitty condo to the bed, to the dresser and back.  He also loved to climb and explore!

He would play rough with Buddy, the big boy of the house and they were also best friends.

It's going to take quite a while to get over this one, not only for us but for his brothers as well.

We miss you so much little Wookie man, enjoy your new world being problem free and free to roam and have fun with your new brothers Stinky and Poker and all of your cousins and friends there to meet you at the rainbow bridge!

We'll see you again one day!  Love you Wookie Man!

Be sure to give all of your fury friends some extra love this weekend!  Monkey, Buddy and Sage will definitely be getting lots of extra attention for sure!

If you are interested in making a donation to support FIP research, to find a treatment/cure to this terrible disease, you can donate to Sock FIP at UC Davis

We did so, in hopes that one day soon no more kitties or their human parents will have to deal with FIP or the devastating effects! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Happy 10 Year Anniversary To Us!

Over the last 10 years as a married couple, we've been lots of places and seen lots of things.  We've had some great times, some sad times and maybe even a few bad times, but through it all we're always there for each other.

Here are a few fun pics, in no particular order, from some of our past adventures.  Looking forward to adding lots more in the years to come!

Love ya Marples!!

Go Bills!
One of our trips to the Dominican Republic
Sipping champagne on the beach in Sarasota, FL
Along the Pacific Coast Highway between SF & Monterey Bay
New Years Eve at Latitude 30

Brew at the Zoo festivities
Sharks arena football fun
Zombie tour in Atlanta
Oktoberfest in Helen GA
Universal Studios Orlando

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Before I get into the details, let me say I'm a car guy, but not normally a Dodge/Chrysler kinda guy.  I own a Pontiac G8 GT with the nice big 6.0L V8 engine and love the styling, speed and horsepower.  It is around 360HP fully stock, with a 5.3 second 0-60 time.

Today Dodge announced their upcoming 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and holy sheeeiot!  This thing will have a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine that has over 600HP right from the factory!  Dang...that is some serious power!

For comparison purposes, the new 2014 Corvette Stingray is the fastest they've ever built and that one has 460HP and does a 0-60 in 3.8 seconds.  

Dodge/Chrysler did not release performance times or prices at this time, but it is sure to come with a very hefty price tag for sure.

I like what they are doing here and look forward to seeing this thing in action in the not too distant future! 

What do you think? I think it's pretty sweet looking also, not too different from the existing Challenger SRT, but looks pretty mean!

Friday, May 16, 2014

New Three Cents App For iOS

What exactly is the Three Cents App you say?! 

It is a cool new, free app that was created by the husband of a friend of ours. The app allows you to quickly poll your friends, followers or really anyone and get some informed opinions/answers.  It was featured as one of the best new apps in the Apple App Store just last week.

For instance, let's say you were considering a few different smart phones like the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy 4, Samsung Galaxy 5, etc. and wanted to ask others which one they like best...

You just put it into the Three Cents app, plug in your poll/question, share it on Facebook or Twitter and it shows up as a link that anyone can click on and place their vote. No need for others to login to access the link or vote.

The app has tie-ins to Yelp for food/drinks questions, TripAdvisor for travel, Rotten Tomatoes for movies, etc. 

Some other examples could be "What is the best place for pizza in Denver?", "What movie should I see this weekend?", "What is the best hotel in Oahu?"

Here are some screen shots showing some questions recently posted. 

Way cool, be sure to check it out!

Three Cents App Main Site
Three Cents App Twitter Page
Three Cents App Facebook Page

Monday, May 12, 2014

Vacation Recap - Vancouver


We had a wonderful time on our vacation over the past 2 weeks!

We wanted to do something a bit larger/different for our 10 year anniversary, which is towards the end of May and we decided on an Alaskan cruise and it did not disappoint! The scenery and wildlife was absolutely breathtaking. Like nothing we've ever seen.

Since the ship left out of Vancouver, Canada and came back through Seattle, WA, we decided to add 2 nights on at the beginning and end, since we hadn't been to either city before and heard good things about both.

I'll do a few separate posts detailing some of the main activities from each of the locations we went to, in order to break things up a bit.

We started out the trip by flying most of the day on a Saturday and arrived late at night. We stayed at the L'Hermitage hotel and it was great! They upgraded us to a full on suite, which was more like an apartment/condo, complete with full kitchen, huge balcony and washer/dryer. That was great, because my mom was joining us for the trip, so we had plenty of room.

The staff was incredibly, genuinely friendly. It was more of a boutique hotel/private residence facility and we just couldn't get over how great everyone was, from the front desk, to the bell man, to the concierge. They referred to me by name each time we came in and out.

We also can't say enough about Vancouver, Canada. We heard the city is vibrant and super clean/safe and it really was! Everyone was so nice and the city was so clean and there was a lot going on. Actually more than there normally would be, there was a huge running event, the Vancouver Sun Run Sunday and we didn't know about that ahead of time.

It actually didn't change our plans too much, we were going to be taking a hop on/off tour bus to do a full loop around and see the main sights around the city. We also decided to go check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge, a narrow, hanging walkway, 231 feet above the valley floor below.

I'm not a huge fan of heights and the fact that the bridge sways didn't help, but we all made it! Then you can also wander on other smaller bridges and paths through their temperate rain forest on the other side. Way cool place!

When we got back, we had lunch on the waterfront and then planned to jump on the bus tour a little afterwards. It was a wee bit chilly/windy right on the water on that particular side of the building they seated us. All the sunny warm spots on the other side were taken, but the wifey was determined to eat outside to get the full experience.

Then we jumped on the tour bus and got to take a full 2 hour loop around the city and to Stanley Park. Unfortunately we didn't have time to jump off and check out the Granville Island Market like we had planned, but that was ok. We got to see most of the city and main landmarks in about 2 hours.

We then went back to the hotel and headed out to dinner at the Kingston Tap House, which was right across from the hotel. We had some good micro-brews, great food and again, the staff was so genuinely friendly!

The wifey had some Maple Black Pepper wings there and she said they were the best wings she's ever had! That is saying something for someone from Buffalo, the home of the Chicken Wing! She liked them so much, she had to go to Whole Foods to get some true Maple Syrup to try and reproduce them.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Vancouver, I'd highly recommend it. It is a very walkable, safe, happening place and we could have spend a bunch more time there. The weather was great as long as you were in the sun, but summer is when they really have the best weather.

It is great city, on the water that also has snow-capped mountains as a backdrop and the people really help to give it a fun, homey feel.

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