The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Friday, August 05, 2022

Damn Bee


 The "feeling-out-of-sorts" mode is apparently continuing for me today:

  • With so many things ambiguous and up in the air, I am still unsure if I will go and enter the 5K race on Saturday where I was hoping/thinking I might have a CHANCE to potentially earn a medal in my "old duffer" age group.  On a regular Saturday morning, it would be a fun adventure, but with all the things going on, who knows if I can muster the energy/desire to go.
  • My wife and her siblings visited two assisted living locations yesterday.  Fortunately, one was dismissed by all (I was worried one sibling would want this one because it was cheapest) because it was older and not a particularly pleasant environment.  The other one was one I knew was much nicer, and all of them liked it.  Unfortunately, two of my wife's siblings are not particularly discreet, or "well-filtered" and are rather coarse.... so they do not do well in professional environments.  They made alarming, asinine jokes in front of the assisted-living facilities coordinator that set off alarm bells in the coordinator.  Stupid, asinine, very poor taste jokes like "I sure hope Ma don't wanna jump off that there balcony." and other equally very stupid comments.  Having known them my whole married life, I know that is their way to try to work through their own stresses and emotions about this situation, but they do not have a clue as to how the coordinator, who does not know them or understand their idiotic "humor" would interpret the idiocy they spout.  The coordinator, of course, was alarmed, and then started to question them if my MIL has exhibited any suicidal tendencies.  My wife had to spend considerable time explaining to the coordinator that the comments were stupid "jokes" by those two and reassure the coordinator about Mom.  By the time my wife arrived home, she was exhausted. And, of course she was embarrassed and angry and shocked that these two did not have the sense of mind that God gives a gnat on how to behave in this formal, professional situation.  But, my wife was and is usually too naive in thinking they would behave appropriately.  I had anticipated something of this nature would likely transpire and unfortunately I was correct.
  • They will be visiting two more places today.  I suspect there is at least a 50% chance something similar will occur again.  These two places are the newest facilities nearby, and I do not have any knowledge of them, but, being quite new, they could be very nice.
  • Vehicle issues continue for one of my kids, and that is a time/schedule disruptor for me again today.  I am hoping the vehicle issue resolves today. 
  • Unfortunately, yesterday, our dog started to again display symptoms of a nature similar to something she experienced perhaps 2-3 years ago. Her symptoms are 1) an urgency to need to go outside to defecate, 2) a release of a generally less formed (looser) stool, and then 3) within about 30-60 seconds, another strong urge to defecate again where she struggles and either a) nothing is released and she tries for 2-3 minutes, or b) she expresses diarrhea.  Yesterday afternoon I became aware of the change in her pattern, becoming a bit concerned, and last night it continued.  This morning, she jumped off the bed (unlike her) at 4:00am showing that urgency.  I took her out and the above pattern continued.  She then showed the same urgency at around 6:00am, with similar actions and outcomes.  I called and left a message at the veterinarian at 6:30am.  But, then I called back again when they opened at 8:00am.  The Vet Tech said she would talk with the doctors and get back to me.  I am waiting to hear how to proceed.  I hope they will either give her the same/similar medication as before or have me bring her in and then give her the same/similar medication as before and that this works effectively for her.  
  • It was very humid and warm outside at 4:00am (~75 degrees F (~24 C)).  As I sat on a stool on the back porch watching my dog and her bowel habits closely, suddenly in the far reaches the yard there was a bit of movement that caught my dog's attention and she bolted like a bat out of hell towards it.  Fortunately, I had her on her "string" (her tie-out, that I always try to use when it is dark outside, so that she cannot chase after something she sees in the yard).  But.... I had installed a new "string" a few months ago as the old cable had broken.  This new "string" was several feet longer than the previous, so she was able to get much closer to...... what turned out to be a SKUNK roaming along the fence at the back of the yard.  When I saw that it was a SKUNK, my heart started racing and I jumped up and grabbed at the cable and tried to yank the dog back in closer to me.  She was not wanting any part of that, and was straining and straining to try to get even closer to the SKUNK who was starting to do its damnable alarm dance and lifted its tail.  Fortunately, even though my hands are a bit scuffed up from frantically pulling on the "string", I managed to wrangle the dog back up the the porch and the skunk stopped its pre-firing behavior and wandered off.  
  • Back at the porch, with the "string" looped around a post to shorten its length some, I watched the dog some more (with her focus disrupted by the skunk, she was not thinking about going potty anymore).  But then, I felt something crawling on the back of my leg (I had on shorts), and I reflexively reached down to swat at the bug.  Unfortunately, it was a damn bee, and it was not pleased at my actions and it stung me on the back of my leg (where the gastrocnemius muscle is).  I do not know why a damn bee was out and about in the dark at 4:00am.  That is NOT typical bee behavior.  I suspect the bee may have been of an old caste and was potentially near the end of its life, and as often happens with the older castes they go on extended forage missions.  If I were to hazard a bet, I would suspect this bee was an old bee who went on one of these forage missions late in the day yesterday and likely ran out of energy for its flight muscles and was probably laying on the porch.  I further hypothesize from my understanding of bee behavior that my turning on of the porch light was stimulus enough for the bee to start to walk around (thinking it was daybreak perhaps and trying to orient to the light to warm up, making it more energy efficient, and possibly able to fly again).  It probably crawled up my shoe and sock and I must have noticed it only when it started to touch my skin.  Regardless, it was damn annoying.  It hurt like hell, and now I am wondering if and how much my lower leg may swell from the sting.  I will see as the day continues. I am hoping no swelling occurs.  When I worked with bees for two Summers in graduate school, I was stung hundreds of times (even with protective suits, there are areas on a suit where a few especially angry bees can penetrate through sometimes) especially when I would need to break apart hives to establish new colonies. I am hopeful that this single sting will not swell.  But who knows?  Many decades ago, back in graduate school, I would typically have to get at least 6-7 stings in a day before I would have swelling and inflammation. Who knows how I will react this time?  
  • I moved all the equipment on the floor of  my lab to another room yesterday so the custodial folks can wax the floors this weekend.  This means I really cannot do anything in my lab today, so I decided to work from home in my den.  
  • So, I sit, wait for folks to contact me, try to do things for my upcoming Fall courses, wait to hear from the veterinarian, and just feel "out-of-sorts".  I would like to go swimming, but the pool closes at 12:30 on Friday, and I am not sure if I could/should go because I could miss a phone call.  
  • PCS - 6.  Between the dog's first potty effort and her second, I tried to fall back asleep.  I very purposefully tried thinking about pleasant pipe smoking memories to attempt to induce a dream.  I was (as expected) wanting to smoke my pipe very much while I was watching and worrying about the dog.  I must have nodded off for part of that time when I was back in bed,  but my "dream" if it was one while I was sleeping, was like a record with an imperfection in its surface.... it would replay the same snippet over and over again.  In this "dream" sort of semi-sleeping state, I kept seeing over and over again my STARTING to light my pipe, but it would replay over, and over and was not particularly satisfying as a "dream" or whatever it actually was.  

I guess that is about it.  I could probably rant about more things, but these are the ones that came to mind.



Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Some people don’t have filters. Your wife’s siblings seem to be like that.

I ws interested to read your ruminations about the bee although I am sure that you could have done without the encounter.

And then there was the skunk, A close encounter there. I hope you dog is ok. Even people get those symptoms sometimes, as I can attest. They usually abate on their own after a time.

Friday, 05 August, 2022  
Blogger Margaret said...

Oh, my, the unfiltered siblings! From afar it's comical but NOT when you have to deal with the fall-out. Interesting about the bee. Perhaps being stung so much in the past will help you have a lesser reaction? I always told my daughters when they were younger that bee stings don't hurt much, don't worry about them, etc. Then I got stung and had to eat my words. BIG OUCH!!

Friday, 05 August, 2022  

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