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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Alex at the Vet and MHC Shuts Down

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Alex at the Vet and MHC Shuts Down

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alex eek
Alex went to the vet today. Here are the conclusions:
  • He now weighs 57 lbs/26 kg. I figured in the low 50s ... when the tech said 57 lbs, I nearly fell over! He's only six months old! Wow!
  • He's probably going to be neutered on Monday. Lick 'em while they last, Alex.
  • And the bad news ... he was diagnosed with Lyme disease today. The good thing is that it's really not that big a deal, as far as doggie diseases go. It's possible for the test to be a false positive, so he might not even really have it. He'll take antibiotics for a month anyway. The vet isn't worried about it and explained how we'll treat him. It might go away; it might not. He hasn't showed any symptoms, so it looks like we caught it early.
In the U.S., 97% of Lyme disease cases occur in just ten states. Maryland is one of the ten states. As Bobby pointed out, he and I could have it and not know it; it is transmitted by the deer tick. It is roughly the size of a pinhead. I've found one on myself before, though it was not attached. I kept it to show to Bobby, for educational purposes, of course. One of the vet techs actually has Lyme disease; my aunt had it as well (though hers was advanced and her doctor thought that she was malingering and wrote off her symptoms, so half her face is paralyzed. Yay medical arrogance.)

Alex just jumped up on the couch next to me with this soggy, icky rawhide bone that he's worked down to mush. My baby ... *pets*

Okay, he just jumped down ... and left the mush-bone with me. Thanks, Alex.

Meanwhile, on work-related news, there is now one less jail behind my office.

The Maryland House of Corrections--one of three jails that is located behind my office in Jessup--closed this weekend without notice. The prisoners were moved to the new prison in Cumberland, federal prisons, and out-of-state facilities in the middle of the night. MHC is one of the most notoriously violent prisons in the country. Last summer, a correctional officer was murdered there and three inmates; less than a month ago, another correctional officer was stabbed, though (luckily) he lived. The Public Safety Secretary decided to close MHC because the facility was over one hundred years old and the design was no longer safe for inmates or officers. There are other reasons too, but that is the biggie.

There is a Baltimore Sun article.

It's a pretty big deal here in old Merrlund. MHC--nicknamed "the Cut"--sort of is Jessup. I had to park in the lower lot today because we had a shredder truck come to get rid of all the old files, and I kept looking back at MHC and thinking that it's not really there anymore ... not that this is a bad thing. Yep, having a violent prison behind one's office is not always the most comforting thought. Especially when said Research Analyst is such a ditz that she doesn't hear the alarm going off anymore. (Though part of this is because they test it every Wednesday at noon, so I'm just used to hearing it.)

Other life updates: Bobby and I have half-days at work tomorrow because we're driving up to Hershey to see the Stars on Ice show tomorrow night. I have a good husband ... he buys me Stars on Ice tickets and even sits through it with me without complaint. I figure that I owe him at least three stupid action movies for that.

Wednesday, we are off from work; I don't know what we'll be doing (since the weather might be nice and it is the first day of Spring), so I might not be online much.

Today, the work computers were slow so I decided not to do anything computer-related that was also work-related. Work-related stuff that did not involve computers was okay and computer-related stuff that did not involve work (and the network, which was what was slow) was okay too. So I got a lot done. I reformatted Of the Valar and the Building of Valinor for the HoMe reading, so I just need to convert it to PDF and upload it to SWG and HA. That took the entire morning and much of the afternoon. I did a critique for Critters. And I finally (finally!) finished Bobby's Valentine's Day story. It will be posted here (f-locked) just as soon as he reads it.

Yesterday, I finished the notes and summaries for The Music of the Ainur, did a fanfic beta, and cleaned half of my Gandalf-and-cart model. (Those of you who want access to my HoMe notes who may have missed the original post ... go here. The new stuff will be posted soon.) It seems that that quick whiff of Spring that we got last week was enough to clear me of my apathy!
  • My dog is 73 pounds. And not fat. Have fun! ;)

    Aw, poor Alex. No more fun with (non existent) girl doggies! And Lyme Disease. :(

    I wish I got off from class...though I should probably not complain since I only have one tomorrow...;P
    • Yeah, you'll probably spend less time in class than I'll spend in work tomorrow! :^D

      Though I don't envy a student's life ... the working world as I know it is sooo much easier!
    • Haha, I was about to say, "That may be, but I'll probably spend more time working." ;P
    • Funny . . . one of my motivations for going to grad school was that I find the student life to be more pleasant than the working world. To each his/her/its own, I guess.
      • I'd say that it's largely contingent on circumstances.

        For example, if asked (all other things aside) how I would prefer to spend my time--attending uni full-time or doing warrant/stats stuff--I would choose uni without a doubt. I loved school! I loved learning and studying and writing papers ... I was one of those sickos who, when the professor said, "And 25% of your grade will be essays," quietly went, "Yesss!"

        But at the same time, the life I had as a student was less than ideal. I took 16-18 credits per semester, more than a full-time job. I worked at least 20 hours every week on top of internships and volunteer jobs. So yes, I do like my working life more now because I like having time for myself, to do things that I love but that don't fit neatly into the work/school dichotomy: writing, painting, movies, et cetera.

        One of the things that annoys me immensely, now that I've entered the "real world" (pronounced very sarcastically) is the fact that so many "adults" would chide me for being tired/overworked/frustrated as a student and say, "Just wait till you join the real world and start working!" Excuse me? 16 hours of class + 40 hours of homework + 20 hours of work + 5 hours of internship is somehow less arduous than a 40-per-week job where I get to sit on my arse and surf the 'net all day?

        But like I said ... circumstances. :) Some people have an easier situation putting themselves through college; others have a tougher situation at work.
  • Neutering? Oh, boy. Sweet, trusting Alex is in for a rude shock, isn't he? And just a few months ago, he was humping your leg, too . . .
    • Alex doesn't hump people anymore (and he only humped me once. I guess he doesn't find me attractive ...) He's into pillows now. Today, he had his pillow up on the futon. How sweet ...
  • silly puppy!!! Reagan does that often too, hubby yelled she cannot bring the bones on the couch anymore because they leave that yucky residue. O.o but as you know she still steals warms spots on the couch. ^_^

    Prisons are creeeepy... had a friend who worked as a CO in a men's prison up in WA (female gal) so that's always a worry. eep! we had the county jail just down the street from my parents house but it shares space with the county court house too so thats a bit odd and freaky. One day I heard a circling helicopter going around in the sky and I went outside to look as did several neighbors. Looked up the newspaper website and some nasty freaking criminal had busted loose. I locked up everything and hid. >_< ack!
    • Working in Public Safety, I have been surprised to learn just how many people escape from prison. Well, usually, they're called "walk offs" because they simply fail to return from a job or have weekends-only incarceration and just don't come back ... but there always seem to be riots or escape attempts at the prisons in Jessup. Once, a guy tried to climb the fence and fell down into the razor wire. Ouchie ...
  • Re: Lyme Disease. The frequency in MD, Jersey, CT, etc. is incredible. After we moved from Cambridge (not many deer ticks there - just lots of skunks), my son was astounded to find out he was only one of two kids in his high school biology class who had not contracted Lyme disease. Two of my neighbors have contracted it twice and still go tromping through the woods around here w/o "protection."

    The sight of a deer elicits a multiple choice reaction from me: a)"F-CK! It's gonna fling itself on my car;" b) "Oh, look, a furry walking repository of spirochetes;" and c)"Well, OK, it is kinda graceful lookin'."

    The MHC piece was a scary little bit o' news.
    • Wow. That's an amazing stat about Lyme disease! I had no idea that it was so limited to (primarily) the northeast until Alex was diagnosed. I thought the whole country went into deer tick hysteria!

      We have so many deer around here that they're tamed by now; they graze right alongside I-70 in broad daylight. That is itself a bit frightening; wild animals becoming "tamed" always makes me nervous.

      The MHC piece was a scary little bit o' news.

      Tell me about it! And to think that joint was right in the backyard of my office ... I'm glad it's gone now.
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