lucky that I drink my tea black
Tuesday, March 5 2019
In the course of normal work today, I managed to knock over a cup of hot tea such that the tea ended up on the keyboard of Bunny, my work-issued laptop. Most of the tea that entered the laptop entered via the numeric keypad, though some might've also founds it way in via a fine-mesh grill running the width of the laptop just above the keyboard. I was horrified, and immediately powered down the laptop and shook what water I could out of it. I then went to get some tiny screwdrivers out of my Subaru so I could open the laptop up and sponge out whatever tea I could find inside it. But of course the laptop didn't have conventional phillips-head screws, they were torxes, so the laptop wasn't going to get opened any time soon. So I said fuck it and fired it back up. Happily, it was completely fine. Every key on the numeric keypad was functional. It's lucky that I drink my tea black, without milk or sugar.
This afternoon Gretchen tried to start the Prius to take Clarence to an appointment with the Hurley veterinarian. But something was wrong with the car and all that happened was some lights lighting up on the dashboard. She called me and I walked her through some experimental procedures, such as holding down the ignition button for a long time, but nothing work. Some internet research suggested that the car's 12 volt battery was dead, and that seemed to check out; Gretchen had left a dome light on overnight. I've railed in the past about the absurdity of Priuses requiring a charge in their 12 volt battery when they have a much bigger, newer battery to work with as part of their advanced technology. Today while sitting on the can in the workplace men's room, I made a real effort to answer the question "why does the Prius have a 12 volt battery?" and I finally got an answer. It turns out that the big battery in a Prius can be severely degraded if it is allowed to discharge too deeply, and for this reason the 12 volt battery is responsible for all electrical systems when the car is powered off, since 12 volt batteries (which are relatively cheap to begin with) are not damaged by being completely discharged. That's still not a perfect answer: why can't a Prius, if it has enough reserve energy in its big battery to start the car without discharging too much, have a fall-back system to start the car from the big battery? This would almost completely eliminate problems with starting a Prius due to a dead 12 volt battery.
The upshot of all this was that Gretchen had to reschedule Clarence's vet appointment for 4:30pm and I had to leave work early so I could come home to jump the Prius with the Subaru.
When I got home, I found that 400 pounds of tile earmarked for the kitchen backsplash and front entryway had arrived from California and was now loaded onto our household four-wheeled cart (which is used for moving heavy things like car engines, cast iron radiators, and woodstoves). Those tiles had actually traveled from California to New York twice, arriving here back when we were still in Costa Rica and unable to receive the shipment, whereupon they were shipped back to California. While Gretchen was at the vet with Clarence, I managed to pull that red cart through the snow closer to the house and then carry all the boxes of tile indoors. I won't be installing any of it until after Thursday (when Gretchen is having the kitchen's one window replaced) and the weather warms up a little.
As for Clarence's health, the vet determined that Clarence hadn't gained any weight since his last visit (though he might not have lost any either), which suggested that the enzymes we have been adding to his wet food haven't been helping him absorb nutrients. The only thing this could mean is that Clarence probably has lymphoma, which is common in old cats. It supposedly affects their ability to absorb nutrients by thickening the lining of their guts. Lymphoma is, of course, fatal, and there are signs that it might've spread beyond Clarence's digestive system to his kidneys. So the time for Clarence is not much longer. But at least he won't have to eat that disgusting wetfood-cum-enzyme preparation we'd been making for him.
While Gretchen was out with Sarah the Vegan and Nancy, I hung out with YouTube, watching the latest material about the Chris Watts murder case. Dr. Phil had secured exclusive access to a new jailhouse confession and was milking it for all the ratings he could get. Now Watts was finally owning up to killing his children, though he was still trying to spin it into some sort of passion-of-the-moment thing and not a premeditated family annihilation, and, partly because Watts is now claiming to be a Christian, Dr. Phil seemed like he wanted to believe the new story. But everything Watts has ever said about his involvement has been lies that he's gone on to supplant with other lies (in a manner not too dissimilar from that of another, more famous narcissist).
I'd decided I didn't want to give my beluga whale painting to its intended recipient, so that meant I had to paint a replacement. So tonight, as I continued watching various things on YouTube, I did a tiny painting of the dove on a wire I'd photographed in Orotina, Costa Rica. See for yourself:
The painting of the Costa Rican dove.
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