From cats to keystrokes

Whenever we sit on the couch to watch a movie, the cats inevitably gather. Neko prefers to sit on W-’s lap if he’s available (I’m only slightly jealous, harumph), but will curl herself up on my lap if W- is working on his laptop. Luke will jump on my lap for a bit if Neko isn’t there, or he’ll nap beside me if my lap is occupied. Leia prefers to play monorail cat along the back of the sofa or on the arms. If one of us stands up, the warm spot is almost immediately taken by a cat (usually Neko).

W- usually works on his computer while watching a movie. I’m tempted to do so as well, but since Neko doesn’t usually seek out company, I figured that it’s fine just spending time with her on my lap. Sometimes I try to type or draw on the side, and that’s not particularly ergonomic.

I could relax and focus on the movie, making it practice for being in the moment. Or I can play around with the possibilities, since not all movies need full attention. Knitting and crochet are out of the question because the cats are crazy about string. I can flip through Japanese flashcards on my phone. I can dust off my Twiddler one-handed keyboard and see about learning that again. I can skim nonfiction books to see which deserve deeper reading.

Hmm… This Twiddler thing looks promising. It’s amazing how much muscle memory can retain after so many years. I think it might be interesting to develop both right- and left-handed facility with this. Who knows, it might even come in handy while sketchnoting, so that I can trigger keyboard shortcuts.


This is me from 2003 or so, with a Twiddler one-handed keyboard and an M1 head-mounted display (on which I looked up stuff in Emacs, naturally). My dad took this picture. =)

It’s funny how things come together: cats, wearable computing, writing, drawing… We’ll see where this goes!

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  • The only lap cat of our four prefers my lap. I hate to make him jump off, so I’m extra careful to make sure I have everything I need on the table before I sit down for breakfast. And the food has to be last, otherwise the other cat will steal it. A lesson in Mindfulness! If I have time to sit with a book or the tablet and some tea after supper, it means I have to actually hold my reading rather than rest it on two pillows on my lap.

    Lap cats definitely present challenges for knitters. But with ours, I’m sure I could pick up knitting after he doses off.

    • I know! Cats make you plan ahead, for sure. In our house, “I have a cat on my lap” is a valid excuse for asking one’s spouse to take care of something that involves standing. ;)

  • Nice update to your blog theme, I like the new font. Cool wearable interface too.

    • Thanks! Google Web Fonts will do until I figure out how to make my own. =)

  • Gath Gealaich

    What exactly means “W-“? It sounds like a manufacturer designation. Or do other parts of this planet have naming and typographic conventions I’m not familiar with?

    • Oh, W- is the pseudonym I use for my husband. I’d started using J- to refer to his daughter in my blog because she was younger than 13 then, and it made sense to refer to him similarly.

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