It was really nice to have been off for the past four days. I hope you were able to get some time off (sorry you had to work, Andy) and enjoy the holiday. I got about a quarter of the things done that I’d hoped to do, which means it was unusually productive time off. I’d really like to see this country go to a rotating 4/3 work week. Four on, three off, three on, four off, etc. That seems fair to me. Things were pretty warm here on Monday, but it was ungodly hot and humid yesterday, so our pet deer spent most of the day relaxing in the shade by the driveway.
It’s a beautiful Sunday morning here. Not especially warm, at the moment, but a lot warmer than it was yesterday morning, when the day started off at a near-record low of 34 degrees. But it’s sunny out there, the sky is blue, everything else is green, the grass is cut and the weeds have been whacked so everything looks nice (which won’t last long), and as I write this, a young doe is strolling around in the yard outside my window.
The good news is that I have today off. The bad news is that it starts out with a trip to the vet for two of the varmints, and continues tomorrow with the other one. The last trip was 3 weeks ago and it set me back $300, as Peggy tested positive for Lime and therefore required not only the $30 yes/no test, but the more expensive $80 test that gets sent to the lab. Bud was already positive and still is, so he got his first lime vaccine, and gets his booster today, while Peggy gets her first one and her other vaccines, after having had 3 weeks of antibiotics. The it’ll be back to the vet in three weeks for her booster. Fritzi goes tomorrow, and I have no doubt that he’ll test positive as well, so I recon we’ll do it all again with him. I’m diligent with the FrontLine Plus and I check for ticks all the time but I guess that’s not good enough. I really hate ticks. We never used to have this problem up here, but I guess it’s just the way things are gonna be now that Al Gore has perpetrated the whole climate change myth on us.
It’s not only the start of a glorious work week, but it’s also the start of National Hospital Week (though I’m sure everybody’s already aware of that). For those of us who work for hospitals, this means a couple of things. First off will be a series of daily e-mails from our “C” level administrators (what the “C” stands for is a matter of individual interpretation) telling us how vital our institution is to our community, and what a wonderful and vital job we all do (as opposed to the other 51 weeks of the year, when we’re all a bunch of assholes, I guess). As if that weren’t enough, they also force the mucky-mucks to distribute trinkets to the little people while personally thanking us for the jobs we do.
I’m currently suffering from a post three-day weekend hangover. Not in any way alcohol-related, of course. Just from having three warm sunny days spent, for the most part, out in the fresh air and then having to get up and come sit inside my box within a box staring at a screen attached to a box. This really blows, to be honest. But I’m actually starting to believe that winter is finally over in these parts, and I took the major step of moving my hat, gloves, snow brush, and ice scraper to the trunk of my car (that’s as far away from me as I’m willing to let them get – after all, we’ve had 8 inches of snow on Mother’s Day, so we’re not out the woods yet).
We’re not feeling very well at my house, and I haven’t got much to say. But I felt obligated to put something up here before everybody thought we croaked or something. Plus we got enough snow to be tied with Worcester for the Golden Snow Globe, and I knew everybody would want to know about that.
Well I hope everybody managed to file their tax returns on time Wednesday. For several years in a row now, I’ve not only been on time, but have filed early – thank goodness for TurboTax. When I was younger, I could file the “short form” for people who didn’t make any money or have any deductions. Not that I’m old and living the American Dream®, though, things are a lot more complicated. Leading up to April 15th, they always show the tax volunteers helping the old people fill out their forms on the local news (I think they teach it in Eyewitness News 101 – along with sending a reporter and camera crew out into the same fucking blizzard we all just drove home through in order to show us that, yes, it’s snowing out, and sending the Action News Team out to the mall on the day after Thanksgiving so those of us with common sense can sit and scoff at the morons trampling each other at Wal-Mart in an effort to save 25% on shit nobody really needs so they can give it to people they don’t really like), and I never know who to feel more sorry for – the people trying to get their taxes done, or the people asking the same questions over and over again.
I was awakened last night by the sound of thunder. Actually, I was awakened by a terrified doggie letting me know that there were some very scary howling winds and lightning. I was in the midst of a very interesting dream, too. Sadly, all I remember about it was that it was interesting – I can’t remember what was going on.
I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Amazon “Echo” or not. It was kind of in the news for a while when it was first introduced, but we haven’t heard a lot about it lately, mostly, I think, because they haven’t really shipped a lot of them. If you don’t know, it’s a little Pringles can size unit that has microphones and a speaker and it connects to your home WiFi. The idea is you can ask it questions or tell it to play music or whatever. I think it’s somewhat smarter than Siri (not exactly a high bar) but quite a bit more limited than “OK Google.” But the idea was it would add features and better integration as time went on. Really something that, to me, sounded both stupid and like something I wanted. Of course, as is the way of things these days, you needed to “request” an “invitation” for the privilege of spending your $200 on the thing, though Prime members would get it for half price. No way would I spend $200 on it, but $100 made me at least consider it ($49.99 would be better). So I procrastinated, but then the guy I work with said he ordered one and I hate to be left out, so I went for it.
If your neighborhood is anything like mine, and you went out for an early morning Sunday constitutional, you were treated to the sound of…. Generators. Yeah. We were treated to an Easter power outage. I woke up at some point very early yesterday morning with the full moon shining in my eyes. I thought to myself, “golly, what a nice quiet morning.” I rolled over to see what time it was, but, alas, my Internet clock/radio was dark. I knew the radio part was off before I looked at it, because I go to sleep (to the extent that I actually sleep) listening to the Old Time Radio channel, and it had gone quiet at some point overnight. I figured I must have accidentally pulled the power cable out (I do that sometimes – the headphone cable gets wrapped around the power cables from the two – yeah, two; sucks to be old – heating pads I sleep with, and one good turn can send the whole thing crashing down). So the next thing I tried was my bedside lamp. A brief whimper of light as the LEDs used up the last bit of juice stored in the capacitor, and then darkness. Well shit.