The week, the weak, the tweaks...

Today is Tuesday June 5th - It's June already. So hard to believe, but believe it I shall. I have no choice in the matter after all.

Today, I have a hole in my sock and my big toe is sticking out of it. My feet are in a pair of loose rubber (neoprene actually) boots, not quite Wellingtons, but close, and I'm walking around 4 levels underground where there are no nematodes and alpha radiation doesn't reach.

Things are going fairly well and I'm glad they are - it's about they did, given what went on last week.

I'm on my second last subjects for the morning, with one more to go, then another 8 this afternoon. Why, I might even get to have lunch, and if i get to have lunch then I'm happy. And if I'm happy, Dr. C is also happy.

Yesterday was Monday June 4th, and I was rushed off my feet because of various meetings with odds and sods. However, all this took place after another appointment with TM wherein he stuck and flicked (after sticking) 25 needles into my  lower back and glutes all while telling me that I was incredibly tense and needed to relax, and that the needles, in and flicked, would help me achieve this state of mind. I was skeptical because even if the needles cause a mini spasm in a muscle and ultimately make them more relaxed, I felt that anticipating the needle going in and then the little sadistic flick of the thumb over the needle was more than enough to make other muscles tense up.

However, I forebore the torture and left with a bit of a limp in my leg for he also attacked several spots on the hamstrings.

Then meetings and meetings and more meetings. I finally ran downstairs to the fourth level and played with needles and tubes of my own. Only no flicking but lots of anaesthesia and saline containing many interesting compounds. Well, I say no flicking because I wasn't flicking but there was lots of kicking, but you just deal with it by being firm, and saying, "This is for your own good. Now Stop Kicking!"

Then in the night, there was more slug-hunting, but fortunately the hordes have dissipated now and crawled away somewhere dark, dank, and I hope lonely, to die. My marigolds, lobelia and 'faded denim pansies' may stand a chance yet!

Sunday June 3rd was yet another cool day. The sun tried to come out but was beaten back by grey clouds and incipient rain drops. Silly sun to be so cowardly. In any case, I had a quick breakfast for there was a workshop to be prepared for, and taught. The preparation was minimal because the trick to giving an impressive presentation is to eschew physics and mathematics and focus on colour, colour, colour and rotating representations of 3D images. Yes.

They were duly impressed and one of the bright, very bright sparks there, D (fortunately no relation to DS - shudder), asked very pertinent questions while staring me straight in the eye. I almost wished he'd ask me impertinent questions, but that wouldn't have been professional at all. At. All.

It wouldn't have stopped DWA and CA though, tramps.

Then there was a movie with Dr. C, In the Family. It would have been a fine movie had 90 minutes been removed from the whole film.

Saturday June 2nd I slept in this day after the rigours of the previous week, but not too much because RP wanted to go for a run in the morning, but as all good runners should, at a reasonably late hour - 10:30. Just perfect because this gives you enough time to have some coffee and a slice or two of toast, and to wake up.

So we ran and he was fast at first but faded somewhat on the hills. I faded alongside him for it is only polite to not show up your running partners. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. After the run, I went out to a open house near another place which shall be made clearer at the appropriate time.

Well. There were several units for offer including a lovely penthouse on the top, facing East with 550 square feet of living space and almost 300 square feet of outdoor patio space. The realtor took me through several units and i was braced for an onslaught of positive statements about the apartments, about how well they would suit me, how wonderful a design the architect had come up with.

Not a single thing of that sort. Instead, I was told things like:

"Ohhh, the hot water boiler was put in the bedroom closet because the apartment is so small"
"Ahhh, the doors to the washroom block the hallway when you open them - bit stupid that don't you find"
"The units are a bit small for the price don't you think?"

Then he showed me the penthouse, and it was lovely but not lovely enough for $499,000.00

When we went back down to the lobby, the other realtor who works directly with the developer rushed at me as if I were a long-lost relative and I recoiled from her toxic perfume. She looked at me with her big-big eyes and started telling me that everything was on sale, that all the units were reduced by 20,000.00 and that were I to put a firm offer down, the developer would more than entertain it, he'd probably not negotiate very hard...

I ran away because everything about that meeting stank.

Later that afternoon, I went to Homo Depot where there are many distracting bright lights milling about. However, I unlike CA and DWA would have, sluts, ignored them and went about my business of tracking down slug bait to engage in chemical warfare with the army of slugs that have razed down my seedlings of denim blue pansies, and that also has started on my Matthiola. Nobody messes with my Matthiola so I declared war on the soft, horrible, squishy things.

Before launching the first strike, however, I met Dr. J at the top of KB's building where he was to water the plants while they were gone. We sat out on the balcony and took in some sun and wondered about J's propensity to use 10% pee to water his plants. They certainly look green and lush, but I always worry about a smell. When we left, I told Dr. J he should leave an unlabelled bottle of lucozade (yellow you see, and looks just like pee) on the counter to make KB and J wonder, just what went happened on the balconies...

Then a quick dinner with DWA at a new Mexican place followed by gelato. Then a brisk walk home and to bed so as to be fresh for the next day's workshop teaching and impressioning. But not before the first salvo of slug pellets were strewn on the containers. And Lo it was effective for within 15 minutes, the first one came along and sank his teeth into a pellet - much to his chagrin and eventual (I hope) demise in a dank, damp, dark and lonely place.

Friday June 1st was the day they finally fixed the machine what goes ennggggg when the gantry reaches home position. It was a glorious day - at least for Dr. G, not so much for me because the machine wasn't fixed in time for me, me, me.

Nonetheless, I try not to be bitter and hack my way through data for someone and I didn't even make any points up. To no avail, however, as this person said he was disappointed that the machine wasn't working for him. I told him it wasn't my fault, and he agreed. Ostensibly. We'll see whether future studies 'work' for this person. Hrumph.

I also managed to get my quotes in and managed not to inflate them. We shall see whether I get paid. This could mean my trip to Dublin might come through after all. Time will tell, as in all matters of this sort. I have to say that Friday was a blur of fatigue because Thursday and Wednesdays were terribly long and anxious days.

Wednesday May 30th and Thursday May 31st were spent waiting for news on the machine repairs and being exasperated by the reports that came in saying, "oh yes, we're just waiting for another part". With the number of parts ordered and replaced, surely it would have been easier to simply get us a new machine. Hrumph.

So we did the experiment the old fashioned way and had to do tissue chromatography which I don't like doing as it's a brute force method and doesn't get you much in the way of colourful images you can ooh and ahh over, or impress bright sparks like D with. Oh, I now wish he had made impertinent questions and requests of me. Hard to ignore the big doughnut on his finger though. Bah. Rings to control all, rings of suffering.

However, I did manage to get a small run in on my own to shake away the irritation that I felt with the repairers of machines what don't work when they are most needed.

Tuesday May 29th was pretty much a harbinger of Wed and Thurs. On Monday, it became clear that parts were required - and they had to stay late to tell me this? Oh well. Should have ordered a new machine right off the bat...

In short, nothing worked, we had to scramble, I had to placate the irritated, and we had to provide succour to the weak and ailing instead of sending them to little individual hospices much like in Solent Green and let them have a beautiful passing.

You see what happens when machines that are supposed to be reliable aren't? There is great suffering for all involved.

Monday May 28th was spent sulking in hopeful anticipation but really knowing that not much would happen with the 'repairs'. And I was proved right - they worked late, but to no avail because well, first it was the software, then it was the drivers, then it was the firmware and finally they decided it was the hardware. Of course, it was all of the above and they really should have simply sent a replacement. With a brand new guarantee.


So my plans to sail gracefully through this week were scuppered because you can't sail when your main mast is broken, and your sails are made of netting.

Instead, I went home and brooded over my finances. I told the Shark that if I were to not eat, buy any clothes, or slug bait and other necessities of life from now through November, I would have an extra $4,500 in my pocket? This gives you an idea of how limited my spending is, or how small my pay is. In any case, the Shark was most generous and offered to get me food pellets what are used to feed pet mice.

"High Fat!" She said, "Just like the one that Dr. PF uses!"

Then we looked at each other, and thinking of Dr. PF's globularity, we said at the same time, "Ah. Now it makes sense!".

I turned down her kind offer since I wasn't sure that there were enough differences in shape, size, colour and smell between the pellets she offered, and slug bait...

Sunday May 27th was the day when I flew into an incandescent rage because I came in and found the machine lolly-gagging. Then a phone call was made and I went home and stewed for 5 minutes before sighing heavily (for this has happened too often to be funny any more) and making alternate plans.

I had dreams of flying machine parts decapitating people standing by.

And back to today. I think that's all that happened in the past 9 days or so. I shall go finish off Set 11 now. Tonight - a big chocolate cake for me as a treat I think.