Wednesday, September 12 2012
This morning while Gretchen was walking Eleanor in the forest (since Eleanor is now the only dog that gets to go for morning walks), Ramona threw one of her typical shit storms in her corral. I was up in the laboratory at my computer at the time, but I could hear her squealing in pain. I ran down the stairs just as she was finishing. There were brown logs all over the bed, so I immediately set about cleaning them up. Just as I was cleaning up the last of these (and it wasn't easy; some had left brown smudges on the bedclothes), I noticed that Ramona had disappeared. I shouted for her to come, but it was no use. She'd gone running off to join Gretchen and Eleanor in the forest. This was precisely the sort of thing keeping her corralled up in a specially-constructed pen was supposed to prevent.
Not knowing which way Eleanor had gone or what else to do, I eventually got in the Subaru and drove down the Farm Road about as far as it is possible to go. I then got out of the car and hollered for Ramona just in case Gretchen had gone that way and could holler back. But at that moment a loud airplane was overhead and if anyone had been hollering back at me, they would have been impossible to hear above the droning propeller noise.
Back at the house, Gretchen eventually materialized. She'd been down the Stick Trail and not the Farm Road, and she'd been about three quarters of a mile from home when suddenly Ramona came galloping up. Gretchen had tried to carry Ramona back home, but at 50 pounds she was far too heavy, so Gretchen had devised a makeshift leash from her sweatshirt. It was a complete and total disaster, though I couldn't tell that any damage had occurred to Ramona's healing knee. I manipulated it and it didn't seem to be causing Ramona any pain. Her patella also seemed to be in the right place, at least as near as I could tell by comparing it with her other hind leg.
Today happened to be the day that Gretchen would be taking Ramona back to the veterinary orthopedic surgeon east of Newburgh to have her staples taken out and to get a checkup. Over the past several days, Ramona had managed to get about half her staples out during the times when we'd had the cone of shame off and not been paying sufficient attention, though the incision had healed nicely.
While Gretchen was off doing that (and also making a run to the Trader Joe's in Danbury, Connecticut), I stayed home to do the usual billable hours thing. Gretchen called from the road at some point to say that the vet had yelled at her for allowing Ramona to get the staples out. That made Gretchen so upset that she didn't tell the vet about Ramona's crazy stunt this morning (she didn't want to get yelled at about that too). But the vet checked Ramona's knee and seemed to think it was healing nicely despite our criminal negligence.
At some point today I attempted to fill in the joints between the Wonderboard panels that form the interior surfaces of the greenhouse's "catform." I thought I was mixing up a batch of Portland cement, but I'd grabbed a bag of old mortar by mistake. While Portland cement has a surprisingly-long shelf life, mortar and grout is good for only a few months, and there is no way to tell it has gone bad until it fails to set. I didn't actually realize I'd mixed up mortar instead of Portland cement until I was well into trowling it in place. When I realized my mistake, all I could do was have hope that perhaps a miracle would happen and the mortar would eventually prove itself to have been good. I was cheered somewhat by the soapy feeling it gave my hands, indicating that there were still some active calcium oxides in there. Maybe this one time the old mortar would turn to stone instead of a material indistinguishable from clumped beach sand.
Today was an interesting one politically, as Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, continued to surprise and amaze me with his sheer awfulness. At one time I remember thinking that he might be a sort of generic politician who might not be a terrible president. But the extremes he's had to simulate (and all he can do is simulate) in order to appeal to the Republican base have shown him to be a sociopath who is capable of saying and doing anything to get whatever the fuck it is he wants. Today's little stunt saw him criticizing the Obama administration for "apologizing" for American values. Why? Because the American embassy in Egypt, besieged by crowds of angry protestors upset about a repulsively juvenile "film" (or, technically, film trailer) depicting the Prophet Mohammed doing various unsavory things, had released a statement saying that all religions should be respected. Yes, fellow Americans, that was Obama apologizing yet again for America. And Romney is such a numbskull (and suffers from such supremely bad luck) that he released this statement just as the crisis spread to Libya, where opportunistic thugs took advantage of the distraction of the angry crowds to storm the American embassy and actually kill the American ambassador to Libya and several others. The reporting on all these events wasn't especially sympathetic to Romney; for some reason it was proving surprisingly hard to make it into yet another dull story about the campaign horse race.
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