August 07, 2007

As I was saying...

...Saturday got up way too early and got Rebecca over to PetSmart and then began the morning's hunting and gathering for school supplies. Had to do it this past weekend to take advantage of the sales tax holiday, which is good, because I wound up saving around fifty bucks or so. First stop, Sam's, to stock up on staple items (oddly enough, not including actual staples), then on to Wal-Mart for the meat of the selections--papers, notebooks, markers, colored pencils, folders, and wound up spending nearly three hours there. They're redoing the store layout, and so school supplies were spread over three different time zones, and I'd get one thing, then go wandering off for something else, then spent nearly twenty minutes looking for wide-ruled filler paper. And they were having some sort of back-to-school fashion show with a live band, and the live band was VERY live, and loud, and I was getting a headache, and then I got that bad feeling that one occasionally gets, but usually only at home, where you don't mind sitting on your own toilet, but that causes you to walk around Wal-Mart all clenched up, hoping the urge will pass long enough for you to finish shopping and get home, but at some point you realize you MUST call a time-out and find yourself a loo.

I had a basket full of junk, and didn't want to park it up front, and add to this that I was at the back of the store and didn't think I could MAKE it to the front of the store. SO, back to layaway, parked my cart by the counter and asked the lady behind the counter if I could leave it there. She looked at me blankly and said yes.

Off to the restroom across from the counter, and I looked carefully at the signs and opened up the door on the right. There were several girls standing there, changing into clothes. Danged fashion show kids--and they're making them change in the men's room! And then I looked at the signs again as I held the door open. W-O-M-E-N. And a little skirt-wearing icon.


What an idiot. And I'm talking about the architect. Men's on the right, women's on the left! REMEMBER THAT! Anyway, what was weird was that I thought I had read the sign before going in. Scampered across the vestibule to the men's room, checked the sign (M-E-N, straight stick figure) and went in, only to be met with a bunch of OTHER kids changing into their spiffy Wal-Mart duds. Thankfully, it was guys.

They left very quickly after I'd begun my necessary internal adjustments.

Finished, quickly gathered up my cart and thanked the lady for keeping an eye on it, she just looked at me blankly, as if I were speaking Urdu or something, and then I skulked off to go finish shopping.

Found everything except composition books. ::sigh::

Next stop, Books-a-Million over close to home to look for a book about forensics, and then the final stop at Target for the few food items I was supposed to get. For some reason, I parked at Target, which meant the bookstore was way over there. I thought about moving the car, but I had gotten such a good parking spot. So I walked to the bookstore, and it was very, very hot. Like the inside of a blast furnace on the Sun.

"Do you have the book Forensic Science of CSI by Katherine Ramsland?"

"Do what?"


I repeated it and the helpfully clueless staff person looked it up on the computer and directed me to the True Crime section with the admonition that it would be shelved alphabetically by author's name. If that's true, it would be the ONLY book shelved alphabetically by author's name.

I like Books-a-Million, if only because it is a home-grown company and they have as good deals as the bigger folks like Barnes and Noble, but dang it all, they've GOT to make it easier to find stuff in the store.

1) Put some computer terminals on the floor so customers can check for themselves if books are in stock. It's frustrating to stand there in a line to ask someone if they've got something, only to find out they don't. Or that the counter help is illiterate. Or unable to use a computer.

2) When you find out if there's a book in stock, have a little map of the store showing where it is. It would help if the books had an RFID chip so they'd know for sure if it's actually in the store.

3) Counter computers should be tied in to the cash register. There's no reason why there has to be a separate computer for the book database, why not just make them do double duty?

4) Shelve the books correctly--I know this is labor intensive, but if you aren't going to do any better, there's no use trying to do it at all.

Anyway, they showed the book in stock, and after a good ten minutes of searching a short section of books, it either was out of stock or so badly misplaced that looking further for it would have been futile. Grr.

On back to Target, found composition books and iced tea, went home, suffered the wrath of a wife who'd been left at home to fend for herself with the laundry.

Put up the supplies, took over the laundry, worked on supper, then later went back and got Rebecca from the pet store, supper, baths, bedtime.

Sunday, up early, church (and yes, I stayed awake this time), home, lunch, divided up the school supplies into the various respective backpacks, back for evening services, then dropped the kids off at the grandparents' house. We did this because Reba's doctor's visit was going to be at 5:30 a.m. yesterday, meaning we'd have to be out of the house by 5, meaning we'd have to get up at 4. I can barely get the kids woken up at 6, so this was going to be out of the question, so we let them be farmed out to Reba's parents. Which is getting to be less and less attractive, since Catherine always acts like a butt.

Anyway, after we'd dropped them off, Reba and I had a romantic meal together at Arby's, then went home and hit the hay so we could get up early.

MONDAY, boy, 4 o'clock in the a of m is early! So we slept until 4:30, which meant we left a bit late, but did manage to get to the hospital on time, AND got a parking space right by the door! Yay, earliness!

Checked in, went upstairs, got checked in again, went back to a room, got her personal effects, went back out to the waiting room, waited for a few minutes, and in what seemed an impossibly short amount of time, was called back to talk to the doctor about what he'd done.

I don't want to go into details about the procedure, since it involves Miss Reba's internal system of womanocological pipes and tubing and reservoirs and stuff. I will say that the doctor had no problems and said everything looked healthy up in there, and the procedure should help her feel a lot better in the coming months.

The doc was quite upbeat and chipper in that happy-go-lucky manner of someone who knows what he's doing, and went over the post-operative restrictions.

"Okay, Mr. Oglesby, she did just fine, but let me tell you the restrictions in case the anesthesia makes her a bit loopy--no lifting for a few days, I've left you a prescription if there's any pain or cramping," and with a raised eyebrow he said, "no douching and none of that 'gettin' freaky' stuff for at least 24 hours."

I took it all in with my serious face on, and in my most sincerely concerned voice asked him, "Okay, so I'm not supposed to douche...?"

I don't think he'd heard that one before. The look on his face when he thought I wasn't joking made it all worthwhile.

Went back and waited in the waiting room, then got called back to the recovery room, fed her some crackers and Sprite, and after a while she was awake enough to take home. Out the door by 8:45.

Home, got her to bed, went to the bank, went and got the kids, back to home, started ironing my shirts. Got that done while watching The Price is Right, while the kids went outside and cleaned up the cat's pen and his food and water bowls. After the Chinese laundry routine, decided to pick up the den and get it halfway cleaned up. Even got the vacuum cleaner out! Vacuumed, vacuumed, vacuumed, got a big canister of ick.

Pulled the canister off, and the bottom of it swung open, spilling ick all over the carpet I'd just vacuumed. "Why, confound it all!" I said in my mind, although I'll admit it probably was a bit more earthy than that. Went and emptied the thing in the garbage can and came back inside to see what was wrong.

Cheap Chinese plastic, that's what. The little orange clip had a spring inside to hold it closed. The spring was held by a little pocket molded into the clip, and sometime in there it broke free, allowing the spring to become unsprung, and not hold the clip down. Epoxied the spring back into the broken clip, and stuffed a paper towel under the lip of the clip so it would be SURE to stay closed, even if the glue failed. Nothing quite like expedient engineering.

Cleaned up my mess and vacuumed some more and got another big can full of ick, and finally decided I'd worried the carpet enough.

Made lunch, made a couple of batches of cookies, and about three p.m., suffered a complete shutdown of systems that required a nap. Which is why the kids decided to get loud. Got back up after an hour and a half of not sleeping any, got Catherine ready to go to cheerleading practice, went and got my medicine from the drugstore and picked up some stuff for supper. Got back and found that Oldest had been summoned to Grandma's house to pick up supper, and I should've been grateful, but I really wanted to fix supper. I'm that way, sometimes.

Decided to use the waiting time to set a little electric fan up outside for Lightning, who's been slowly baking for the past few days. He seemed to enjoy it to no end. Ate supper, dropped Cat at practice, went home, turned around and went BACK to the gym, got Cat, went and got gas in the Volvo, went home, told her to go bathe, and then sometime in there got all sleepy again and went to bed for good.

Today, everything's back to normal.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at August 7, 2007 10:14 AM

Hey, thanks for keeping us informed about Miss Reba--hope she feels better soon.

That forensics books sounds sorta interesting--are you reading that when you have spare time? (Not that you EVER have spare time.) Or is one of the kids interested in CSI-type stuff?

Posted by: Stan at August 7, 2007 11:18 AM

Or perhaps, Mr. P, you are not being entirely forthright about the coming job change? Architecture stuff, hmmm?

Posted by: skinnydan at August 7, 2007 11:37 AM

Stan, that book is for Oldest, who's going to be taking a forensic science class this year. Really, Skinnydan. I promise. And I've got the class fee receipt to prove it!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 7, 2007 11:49 AM

CSI: Trussville

Intern Cletus: (looking at the body) Yeah, he's dayd. That's whut ya get fur cleanin' yer gun with the safety off.

Chief CSI Possum: (pointing) It wasn't the safety, Cletus. It was the bullet in the gun. Did you know his nickname was DeadEye?

Cletus: Do tell.

Possum: Yep. Always hit what he was aiming for.


Thank you, thank you. I'll be here until Shutdown Day. Don't forget to tip Chet!

Posted by: mike hollihan at August 7, 2007 11:56 AM

I'll ditto the well-wishes for Miss Reba. I hope she took the news OK that there would be no "freaky stuff" for AT LEAST 24 hours.

You really love Lightning. You really do. How much longer until he's an indoor kitty and can spend more time with Possum Papa?

Posted by: Marc V at August 7, 2007 12:25 PM

Mike, we might have to keep you on as a guest blogger. As long as you don't join that bunch of danged union bloggers.

And Marc, no matter how much I love Kitty, he's an outdoor cat, and that's that.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 7, 2007 12:32 PM

Yeah, Mike did REALLY good--quite funny!

I actually HAD wondered if "Possumblog" could be outsourced as a group blog--but what in the world WOULD happen if some of the group decided THEY wanted to unionize?

Incidentally I have no idea why these guys think a labor union for what is essentially a free, voluntary product would work. Maybe I'm missing something.

Posted by: Stan at August 7, 2007 01:04 PM

Well, obviously if our writers decided to unionize, I'd have to send in Chet as a scab.

As for the union blogger idea, well, just chalk it up to another tidy bit of lunacy from the "reality-based" community.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 7, 2007 01:15 PM

You know, that's how I ended up in Memphis. I went out to "look for the union label" and next thing I knew I was standing in the Mississippi River! Fortunately, a police officer and his friend with the extra-long sleeved white jacket pulled me out before the current swept me downriver.

And did the union post my bail? They did not. Hmphf.

Posted by: mike hollihan at August 7, 2007 02:43 PM

In fairness, those jackets are pretty nice.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 7, 2007 02:50 PM

I believe the group blog was last seen at WSU.

Hey ... football season is coming up, and the Fightin' Weevils have most of their team coming back (depending, of course, on the completion of some remedial courses), and Darth Saban is in Tuscaloosa ... hmmm.

Posted by: Marc V at August 7, 2007 03:41 PM

It is still around, although it has been moribund for several years. Anyone who was signed up to begin with is still free to post, and that includes Dean Spud.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 7, 2007 03:45 PM

Epoxied the spring back into the broken clip, and stuffed a paper towel under the lip of the clip so it would be SURE to stay closed, even if the glue failed. Nothing quite like expedient engineering.

Terry, Terry, Terry. You know that doing things like this will get the "union" upset, just watch and see.

Best Miss Reba and hope that Lightning, like Miss Tobiko always has a nice patch of sun to recharge them there batteries of katzness.

Posted by: Chef Tony at August 7, 2007 03:51 PM

Well, it's Chinese union guys, so I'm not too worried. Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Company might ought to be, though.

As for patches of sun, I guarantee you, he's got a surplus of sun, and heat, and humidity. At least now he has a mechanical breeze to go with them.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 7, 2007 03:55 PM