4th: In the presence of others sing not to yourself with a humming noise, nor drum with your fingers or feet.
(I wonder if George Washington was a theatre critic!!)
27 August 2004
There was a crash and then things went dead. I screamed an obscenity and the dogs cowered. It was the second time it had happened this morning, after it happened the first time yesterday.
This is a situation which has evoloved over time. Some time ago, long before Sheila arrived, Kimba decided that when I was in my office, she liked to sleep under the desk that sits to my left.
Let me set the scene. My computer monitor and keyboard are on a little computer desk, only about two keyboard widths wide. There is no room on the desk (or under it) for the computer tower.
To the left of where I sit, at 90 degrees to the computer desk, is a Swedish modern desk which once belonged to Gilbert. If you were to sit at this desk, your chair would go to the right and there are drawers on the left. By putting this desk at 90 degrees to the computer desk, the place where a chair would go lines up with the edge of the computer desk, leaving the drawers usable for me. My computer tower can thus go on what would be the right side of that desk (only the way I have it set up, its at the "top" of the desk), the photo printer on the left, or bottom, and there is a small working area above the drawers (are you following this?)
This means that there is a "hole" under the Swedish modern desk where feet would normally go. Im not sure when Kimba discovered this hole, but now when I work here, she sleeps there. Its her little cave.
Behind the two desks is the usual Gordian knot of cords, some of which are no longer attached to anything, but which were so tangled with the rest, that I just left them there.
On top of the tower sits my fan (an essential in hot weather!), the box for my cable connection, and the charger for my Palm pilot.
For a long time it was quite peaceful when I was working in here. Kimba would crawl into her cave, and Sheila would lie behind my chair and everybody was happy.
However, one day Sheila decided that she didn't want to spend as much sleep time as Kimba did, or as much quiet time as I obviously did. She wanted to play.
So she started standing outside of Kimba's little cave and enticing her to play.
Now, you should know that Kimba has not been a dog for a long time. She doesn't know how to be a dog. She doesn't do any of the "dog" things. And now that she's an old lady, her day consists of having more naps than the 22 hrs a day that Marn's cats seem to require (speaking of which, has anybody heard from Marn? I'm getting worried about her!).
But something is happening with this oblivious obstreperous puppy in the house. Kimba is suddenly having an awakening of "dog genes." She plays. Well, as much as a 90-plus year old bitch can play. She actually sorta kinda initiates play sometimes.
I would sit here listening to the two of them, Sheila sprawled on the floor in front of Kimba's "cave," and Kimba inside her cave, the two of them doing their mouth-wrestling routine for hours on end.
However, the more like a "dog" Kimba has become, the more boisterous their play has become and now more often than not, they are wrestling inside Kimba's cave. I didn't think too much about it, except when they slop over onto my feet or something, or when the mouse suddenly flies out of my hands because Sheila has caught her head in the cord, but yesterday they got all tangled up in the other cords and pulled the cable box down. I retrieved it.
This morning I was typing away and saw the cable box start to slide again and I yelled. They stopped and I caught the box before it fell.
But then they went at it again and next thing I knew everything came crashing down. The internet connection was lost. Now they had gone entirely too far!!!
I retrieved the box, but it wouldn't come back to life. I struggled to my knees, cursing the damn knee that I can't kneel on, and tried to see if all the cords were plugged in. Nothing seemed amiss. Then I got out my little flashlight and discovered a hanging cord that didn't seem to be attached to anything. I got that through the maze of other cords and discovered it plugged into the back of the box. Suddenly I was in business again.
Now the problem was how to prevent this from happening again, because now that they've decided it's more fun to wrestle in a 18" square hole under a desk than in the family room or the huge back yard, it's inevitable that retrieving the cable box is going to become a regular event until the damn thing finally breaks.
There is some value in living in a household where nothing ever gets thrown away. Walt spied my old computer (2 computers ago, I think) in the family room and suggested that we use that to block off the cords. We did. It's perfect.
Now Kimba's cave size has been cut in half, but I think the cords are safe from dog play. I can hardly wait to see how they are going to manage to wrestle in this reduced space!