Friday, July 27 2012
This morning I heard Ramona licking her asshole with unusual determination. At the time I was lying nearby and my teeshirt was near her where she'd been licking. For whatever reason, Ramona's attention drifted over to my shirt, and she soon licked a large wet spot into it. As I got up, I looked at the bed sheet and saw a number of objects that looked like dry grains of rice or sesame seeds. But on closer inspection, I could see that they were desiccated tapeworm segments, all of which were concentrated around where Ramona's derriere had spent the night. Lovely! So began a tapeworm jihad, battles of which we fought throughout the day. The first of these saw Gretchen driving out to Barnyard Pet Supplies and buying $30 worth of tapeworm medication to cram down Ramona's throat. And then we loaded all of our bed clothes into the washing machine. Finally, I thoroughly vacuumed all the carpets and furniture in both the first floor and the upstairs.
Today marked the beginning of a fairly intense period of development involving me and a front end developer down in New York City. We communicated via numerous modes today including telephone, email, Campfire, Skype, and GoToMeeting. The amount of technologies with which I now have to be familiar is astounding. And these technologies do not just reside in the software stack in which I develop (which has acquired an additional two or three layers for this project); they also apply to the level of office organization. I'd received an iCal invitation for a phone meeting today, but I'd never received an iCal invitation for a phone meeting before and didn't know that it was up to me to call in to a number. So I ended up missing today's phone meeting in a way that seemed to irritate the project manager who had arranged the whole thing. She had just assumed I was familiar with iCal (even though that is an Apple thing, and one must never assume another user is using Apple hardware).
This afternoon I drove out to West Shokan (just southwest of the western end of the Ashokan Reservoir) to pick up eighty feet of 1.25 inch UV-resistant PVC conduit I'd gotten on Freecycle. The guy I was picking this stuff up from was named Dennis, and I'd done some research and knew him to be friends with two of my local Facebook friends (including one of the photogenic vegan Buddhists), giving me a sense of who he was. (Such research would have been impossible a couple years ago.) His house had a beautiful view of a series of nearby pyramid-shaped mountain peaks, and when I mentioned this, he offered that we take our dogs for a walk in his back pasture. His dog was a 12 year old long-haired shepherdy-sort-of-dog named Lucy with an impressive collection of bones, several of which Ramona and Eleanor immediately glommed onto.
We walked back into the forest at the foot of one of the nearby mountains to a place where hoses connected Sugar Maple trees to whatever collection system is used in the automatic collection of maple syrup. There is a creek back there called Dry Brook that was indeed, as its name implied, dry, though we were able to follow it upstream a short distance upstream to a place where flowing water disappeared beneath the dense blanket of cobblestones filling the Bush Kill Valley.
After ascertaining that I live in Hurley, Dennis asked if I'd gotten any rain in last night's storm. When I said I'd gotten very little, he said he'd gotten nothing at all. And then he told me that the drought is still terrible there in West Shokan; though he is only 4.65 miles to our west, he has had none of the daily rainfall and heavy extended showers we've been getting for the past three weeks.
And the U.S. Drought Map seems to confirm that: note that the white area of normal conditions stops in a line connecting Pennsylvania to Connecticut across southern New York. Dennis lives just north of this line and Gretchen and I live just south of it.
I'd put the poor guy I'd been doing development with on hold for the time I went to West Shokan, and I felt bad about it when I returned a half hour later than expected. And then it turned out that I was having trouble keeping up with his backend needs as he continued working on the front end. This seemed to make him anxious and it also made me feel a little inadequate. But it was the first day of our working so intensely together and we'd only just come up with the timeline today. Compounding matters further, we'd wasted half the day on a problem involving git. So I wasn't too concerned about it.
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