Coffee heat rising

Of dogs and cops and copters…

Ruby the Corgi has been under the doggy-weather for several days. She has the collywobbles, and this morning she barfed. That will mean an expensive and stressful trip to the vet…especially since veterinarians here are not letting the hoi polloi even step into their waiting rooms. You have to wait in the parking lot until they come out and collect your animal.

Picturing the terror that will inspire, I’ve already put off getting Ruby’s teeth cleaned. And I do NOT want to drag the poor beast in over an upset stomach.

Sometimes the doggywobbles will clear on its own, just as human collywobbles will eventually go away. Sometimes…not. And we have those damn rats out there…the question is, could she have picked up a bug from one of those fine disease-carriers?

Complicating matters, something made me really sick in the same department. I suspect it was some shrimp I bought at Sprouts… It didn’t seem to be spoiled, but when I opened the bag the thought crossed my mind that those tired-looking things had been frozen for an awful long time. It seems to me I let her lick the plate after I’d eaten that meal…something I normally don’t do. But I recall that one evening, in an unusually mellow moment, I set an empty plate down for her. And this was within the time frame — if the shrimp made me sick, it could’ve made her sick, too.

I still have some imodium purchased while it was legal to sell it. Apparently, you can give it to a dog. But who knows how much would be the right amount? She only weighs 23 pounds. If one tiny pill will plug up an adult human, how many shavings off one of those pills is right for a dawg? You also can give a dog Pepto-Bismol, but liquid gunk is one helluva lot harder and messier to get down a dog’s throat than a pill coated in butter or hamburger is.

Speaking of the imodium protect-you-from-yourself gambit, I see the stuff is still for sale on Amazon. How exactly that can be escapes me. It’s supposedly illegal to sell the stuff in our parts. Apparently some morons use the stuff to get high. Therefore all the rest of us must be punished.

***

Argha! Cop helicopter just roared in and started circling a couple blocks north and east. God, how I hate the constant cop helicopter buzz-overs. This is the main reason I daydream of moving to Prescott or Yarnell or Patagonia…places where they can’t afford to buy helicopters for the local law enforcers. Most of the time, all the doors and windows are locked — and all the exterior doors now include steel security doors with hardened deadbolts. So frankly…I’d just as soon not know when a perp is frolicking around the ’Hood.

Down at my son’s house it’s even worse…the cops are constantly overhead hollering down at perps or telling people to go inside and lock the doors.

Phoenix… What a place this is! Especially when you consider how many people move here because they think it’s going to be better than California. Six o’ one, half-a-dozen of the other, folks!

Well, I might as well go drown out the serenade of the helicopter blades with the song of the vacuum cleaner. And so, away...

Why am I a cranky old bat? Because…

Started the morning annoyed…possibly nothing new about that, since I have the personality of a hummingbird. (Did you know the ancient Inca thought hummers were the reincarnated souls of warriors, because of their irascibility?)

Ruby is supposed to go to the vet to get the tartar scraped off her little teeth next Monday. This appointment was made six months in advance, to my initial annoyance — I fail to see an excuse for that. But OK, no hurry, so who cares?

But now that we have the covid horror, Dr. Bracken — like all the vets in town — is requiring people to park and call from their car, and then they’ll come out and take your animal from you.

The more I think about that, the more I think…huh-UH! i ain’t a-gunna do that to my little dog. Ruby doesn’t like to ride in the car in the first place. But she’ll be absolutely terrorized if some total stranger comes up to the car and drags her out and hauls her into a place she hates. I think that’s rather a bad idea, don’t you?

So I called and said I’d like to put the dental cleaning off for another six months, by which time I hope the covid flap will have settled down. His phone lady puts me on hold with a LOUD — we might even say ear-splitting — recorded spiel, the usual bullshit from veterinarians about all the terrible things that are gonna happen to your dog or your cat if you don’t get this unnecessary test and that unncessary test and half-a-dozen unnecessary vaccines. (Interestingly, a group of scientists tested a large set of dogs starting in puppyhood to see how long the immunity from a single set of standard shots last. They had to stop after 7 years — at which time the dogs were still immune to all of the standard diseases for which they’d been vaccinated!). So this obnoxious high-volume sales pitch goes on and on and on, until I finally hang up.

So now I’m looking for some ways to clean Ruby’s teeth, not an auspicious prospect because I’ve let it go way too long. She hates to have her teeth cleaned and puts up such a fight that I finally gave up, so her back teeth are encased in tartar. Some people, however, claim that if the dog can be persuaded to chew on a heavy marrow bone or even on a rope chew toy, that will break a lot of that tartar off. I kinda doubt it but figure it won’t hurt to try. She really needs to be knocked out cold and have those teeth scraped. But…how that is going to happen in the Time of Plague escapes me.

I’m also thinking I’ll try to find another vet to do this…maybe one whose staff is capable of answering the phone.

Pool Dude lost his dog last week. The critter fell sick. He tossed the pooch in the car and shot up to the emergency vet, where…yeah, they made him wait in the parking lot until they got around to coming outside to get the dog. During that time the dog stopped breathing and died.

See, said he, that is WHY I came up to an emergency veterinary hospital: because the dog was desperately sick.

Oh, said they.

{sigh} We’re surrounded by morons.

Voting!

Okay, the mail-in ballot is filled out and ready to hand in. Now all I have to do is physically take it to the elections bureau — given his past performance, it’s pretty obvious our honored President will try again to block mail-in voting.

I’ve voted “absentee” (a misnomer: mail-in is what we’re talkin’ about here) for many years, in every election — ever since the time our honored Republican leaders moved our voting site out of the neighborhood and into an area that is so unsafe that I would not get out of my car there. Just a week or ten days before that election, two little girls playing in front of their apartment house were killed when they got in the line of fire between two warring drug gangs — about a block down the street from that voting place.

Lovely Phoenix.

Another year our conniving leaders moved the voting places in majority black and Latino districts to the outer borders of those districts, where they were difficult to find and for many residents required a long drive. Funny how low the turn-out was, eh?

We’re told that at any time between now and November 3rd, we can hand in our ballots down at the voting bureau. But…WHERE IS IT? No clue in the voting materials. To get to a page that looks like it MIGHT provide the address, you have to jump through one of those annoying “identify the fire hydrants in these impossibly fuzzy photos” hoop-jump. I had to go through that trick THREE TIMES to find a page that provided an address, but whether that’s a place where you can drop off a ballot is ambiguous. You can drop them off at any voting place on November 3, but that entails a) finding the place and b) standing in line till the cows come home.

No joke. We have had Presidential elections here where the wait time was four to five hours! Again, this is an attempt to block Democratic voters, since a large proportion of Arizona Dems are working-class, and most minimum-wage and service jobs and jobs in the trades will dock workers’ pay for the hours they’re absent. You shouldn’t have to pay half a day’s wages for the privilege of voting. And you may be sure the local Republicans know most minimum-wage citizens can’t afford to pay any such thing.

Normally I would just drop the ballot in the mail. But the risk that the wannabe dictator in the White House and the toady he put in charge of the Post Office will interfere with delivery of these things is simply too high to chance it. Dollars to donuts, any ballot you drop into a PO mail box will end up in the trash.

The elections bureau is in downtown Phoenix, in an area of difficult to navigate one-way streets and extravagantly expensive parking. Even though their website gives an address, nowhere is it made clear whether this is the place to deliver a mail-in ballot in person. They provide a phone number, so I’ll have to call that in the morning and then sit around for 20 minutes or so listening to some endless recorded blab-a-thon.

To gild that lily, I’m getting a sore throat.

Presumably coming down with the Dread Disease — which, I’m told, because of a budding underlying condition, will very likely carry me off.

Before I go, though, I want to help carry Mr. Trump off his would-be throne.

Have No Fear…

Funny will be back. 😀

The blog has been on a bit of a hiatus while I’ve juggled several large projects. Right now am on page 26 of 57 pages in the client’s  Chapter 2…and she’s just getting on a roll.

Seriously, it’s a sophisticated and heavily researched academic book whose author is not a native speaker of English. And I do not speak her language (gotta learn it!!!), so sometimes it takes some figuring to Englishify it.

Sooo much crazy stuff going on in our world…to say “have no fear” seems a little…ridiculous. Some of us are scared sh!tless. Pool Dude is presently armed to the teeth — he seriously expects riots in the neighborhood lanes if Trump is voted out. You can’t buy ammo for love nor money, not that it would matter because I personally have no time to pass down at the range training myself to hit a target dead-on. Nor, offhand, do I happen to have any targets laying around the house just now.

Further from the realm of neurotic fantasy and closer to the realm of reality: if you haven’t already done so, it might be wise to be sure you have enough paper towels and toilet paper to last a month or so. Was just over at the big Fry’s (the local incarnation of Kroger’s) and found the shelves about bare where those things were concerned.

Rubbing alcohol is also absent. Remember that Windex contains alcohol and will also disinfect surfaces, as will hydrogen peroxide (good luck laying your hands on any of that!). Failing either of those, you can buy straight grain alcohol under the brand name “Everclear” at Total Wine — depending on what state you live in. It’s illegal in some states. The stuff is actually a more effective disinfectant than rubbing alcohol. Do NOT drink it, no matter what anyone suggests — unless you wish to be numbered among the microbes it removes from this earth.

Back to work! Stay well…

Life at the Funny Farm: September Edition

Jeez! 9 ayem and I’m flat-out exhausted! What a Morning from Hell! Up at the usual 5 a.m. but dawdled over the computer, so the Hound and I went out the door late.

Because it’s so late, we hit the road at the height of the Dogging Hour. Every chucklehead and his little brother and sister are out with their pit bulls, Aussies, spaniels, poodles, German shepherds, dalmations, chihuahuas, Bernese mountain dogs, Boston terriers, dachshunds, akitas, vizlas, and reservation dawgs. This adds a great deal of stress to a doggywalk because Ruby wants to LUNGE at every goddamn one of them. That, as you can imagine, tends to alarm the fellow dogs, which then go in for the attack by way of protecting their humans. To prevent this, every time someone comes along with a pooch, I have to stop and make Ruby “SIT! STAY!” until they go by us.

This is WHY we leave the house no later than 5:00…by way of avoiding the dog-walkers’ rush.

So we walk around the corner to see if our neighbor Signey is out with the kids. She lives right next door to the house where La Maya & La Bethulia lived before La B decided to pathbreak their escape to California, and at this time of year she’s often sitting in front with her small children and her herd of tiny, funny-looking adopted dogs.

And yes, she’s there. We start to schmooze…

New neighbor comes out with his dogs and walks off around the corner. She points out one of them and says it’s a pit-bull/shepherd mix and is extremely aggressive. She says it went after one of her pipsqueaks and almost killed it before she was able to tear the animal away from it.

Lovely. The scrawny male human looks like he weighs…oh…maybe 150 pounds, at the outside. Mmmm hmmmm…

She dotes on Ruby and rubs her hands and face ALLLLLLL over the dog’s fluffy corgi fur. Then she says happily, “And the kids are going to school.”

Oh. Good. It’s not maybe…it’s absolutely positively: You just rubbed fistfuls of virus into my dog’s coat! Jezus Aitch Keerist, but people are stupid.

By the time we get to Feeder Street N/W, there’s too much traffic to get across the road safely, so we wander back into the ’Hood, up the street I used to live on, around and around. This route is neither as long nor as pleasant as the stroll through the shady realms of Upper Richistan, but at least we don’t have to risk life or limb to get there.

Herd the dog back to the house, and now I have to wash her. She sleeps on my bed at night, and I do NOT want Signey’s kids’ classmates’ germs all over my bedding. Or all over the floors and furniture in my house, either.

Washing Ruby is quite a production. She hates it, she is terrorized by it, and she puts up one bitch of a fight. Decide against assaying this battle in the backyard — at that hour, it’s cool enough outside that cold water out of the hose could in fact harm her. So I have to drag her into the bathroom to wash her in the tub.

WHAT a fight!!!  I finally haul her into the bathtub, then get her wet all over, then scrubbed down with shampoo, then rinsed, then out of the tub…. Did I mention that she hates being wiped down with towels, too?

She goes shake shake shake shake shake shake shake… and covers the cabinetry, walls, and floors with billowing sprays of dog-water.

More fighting. Her hair is thick and she’s getting fat and I don’t get far with the towels. Dig out a hair dryer, plug it into a socket near the floor, and drag her over.

You thought the bathtub episode was a fight? Hah!

Finally manage to get enough of the sog out of her fur that I figure she probably won’t get chilled enough to get sick. I hope. By this time, though, the sun has risen and the air is warming, so…this is prob’ly a safe enough bet.

Clean up the mess and…clean up the mess and clean up the mess and clean up the mess and clean up the mess and….

Put the towels and the towel that fell off the towel bar into the bath water and the dog-wiping towel and the microfiber rags used to finish the dog-drying into the washer. Get out of my wet clothes and toss those in the washer. Find something else to wear. Climb into the shower and wash my own much-doggified body and hair before getting dressed.

By now it’s 8 o’clock!

Fix breakfast. Pour coffee. Just begin to drag the melon and the other goodies out to the table on the garden deck when ARF ARF ROAR YAP YAP ARF ARF WOOF WOOF ARF ARF YIPPETY YAP YAP YAP!!!!!!! 

Pool Dude.

Pool Dude is a chatty kinda guy. He does like to talk. Rudely, I sorta ignore him without saying in some many words arrghhh leave me alone because i bite! He goes on about his business. Putters around. Surfaces to explain his scheme to provide a refurbished pool cleaner gadget of the Amazing Variety, a plan that was derailed during the week. No problem. We discuss last night’s political side show, he being right-stage, me being left-stage, both of us being gun owners. I can’t get .38s. He has a bunch of ammo stashed. We figure we’ll be needing this, though I suggest it’s mighty doubtful that Trump’s bully boys will be rioting through sub-suburban neighborhoods. He says he’s taking no chances.

I say my plan is to get a blowgun. He says…

…hang onto your hat…

He used to make them! 

I mean, really. You’ve heard of “never a dull moment”? Around this place there’s never a sane moment.

I say I understand you can make them with PVC pipe. He says noooo, the diameter would be too large. You need copper piping.

Hmmmmmm……  Suppose Home Depot will cut that stuff to measure for me? Waddaya bet?

Which do we live in? Monty Python ShowTwilight Zone? Or just another planet altogether?

Pool dude out. 

It’s almost 10 a.m. I’ve got to go to Costco. On the way home, maybe I’ll stop at the Depot and see what I can get by way of lengths of copper tubing. Hmmmm….

You thought YESTERDAY was another lovely day in Arizona?

Hah! Every day is lovelier than the next. Check out this little fella..

….and tell me if you don’t think our sweet pet Rattie isn’t one helluva lot cuter than that rat…

Which is cuter? Rat 1 or Rat 2?

Rat 1’s handsome profile was captured early of a fine Arizona day on a neighbor’s security camera.

See that thing in his hand? That’s not a Budweiser…that’s a pistol, wrapped in a plastic grocery bag.

The gate he’s coming out of? That’s an alleyway entry to a neighbor’s backyard. The photo was caught yesterday by someone’s security camera and posted to the neighborhood Facebook page. Said the proprietor: “This individual was spotted at approximately 7:25 this morning exiting our backyard at our home on El Caminito Dr. I did not see any evidence on any of our security cameras of this gentleman entering our backyard.”

At first I thought it was our boy, the one the cops were chasing around yesterday. But now I think this fella is a little older than that kid, healthier-looking, somewhat better built. So we have not one but two of ‘em frolicking around the alleys.

Meanwhile…the evening sun is sinking like a red-rubber pie tin. The air is still thick and brown from the smoke drifting across from the West Coast, the sun so dim you can stare right straight at it. Though one (who does not suffer from asthma) has no problem breathing it, the stuff out there can’t be very good for you.

My plan is to catch Rat 2 and stick her in a cage with a big bowl of bird seed (she loves bird seed) and a bag of oranges (she adores oranges), toss her and the dog in the car, and start driving driving driving. Patagonia, here we come!

Hummer heaven: Patagonia