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[personal profile] mountain_laurel
so. things continue as they have been: i'm depressed, i'm bored, i don't have enough to do at work, and my apartment is full of bugs. tonight i get to buy some ant baits to try to eliminate at least that infestation. fortunately, i haven't seen any roaches or palmetto bugs the last week or so.

i've found someone locally who will do what i need done to my carpet -- i need the corner where Daddy-O staged his protests torn up, the padding replaced, the concrete sealed, and the carpet itself steam cleaned. he only charges $25/room for steam cleaning, so i'm guessing his rates for the rest of it will be pretty reasonable. i'm hoping i can get away with only $200 or so to solve the problem. now i just have to call the guy.

i just made an appointment for Iceberg to get a vet checkup. cross your fingers for me -- i'm terrified they'll find something wrong with him, even though he seems perfectly healthy. a cat his age could have any number of health problems...

there are clients in the lab today, which means i need to look busy even though i have absolutely nothing to do. i cannot express in mere words how tiresome this is.

Date: 2008-08-12 05:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Do what I do - write at work. It looks busy, as long as they don't see the dialog!

Date: 2008-08-13 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
if only i weren't blocked. i've got a character banging around in my head who wants to be written about, but i've got no plot ideas and no motivation. sigh.

Date: 2008-08-12 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I had an ant problem at the house. I bought one of every kind of active ingredient and put it all out around the house. Nothing. Ants are good at what they do. The only thing that ended up doing anything was keeping the kitchen spotless and keeping all pantry food inside thick plastic jars that the ants couldn't get into. Eventually they stop coming around when there's no food for them.

Date: 2008-08-12 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good to hear that you're still alive, even if the garden isn't exactly rosy.

Being underutilised at work is such a pain. Apart from the boredom, and mixture of guilt and fear of discovery, it's a nasty habit to get into, and can cause problems when the workload increases. I don't suppose that there's anything you can do by way of helping your colleagues with stuff other than documentation, to fill the time?

I have to admit that I like [ profile] scothen_krau's suggestion; I wish it had occurred to me for the occasions when i feel underemployed at work. Perhaps you could transform your cow orkers into unlikely characters? It's either that or work on your CV, although you may feel it's too soon to look for another job...

Best of luck to Iceberg, and to you.

Date: 2008-08-13 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
my supervisor has already put the word out to a couple of other managers that i'm available for side projects, but only a couple of things have materialized since i got here. i'm waiting for some more to hit my mailbox now, but i've been waiting a week and am beginning to think they're not going to happen after all.

how's by you? you haven't updated us on the latest workplace asshattery for a while.

Date: 2008-08-13 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh well, I suppose it's good that you've shown willing. That also measn you could do the creative writing thing (if the urge hits you) with a reasonably clear conscience.

Not much to tell from over here. The boss is continuing to be an asshat, but I'm now very underemployed meyself. I've been trying to have a meeting with him for a month to actually get him to give me something to do, but he keeps putting off the meeting. I can come up with things to do to a certain extent (that's what research is about), but there are limits, and I have no idea if I'm pushing in a direction that he, or the company are even remotely interested in. Let's just say that I started rewriting my own CV at the weekend...

Other than that, I've pretty much given up on selling the place in Lancashire, and am now looking into what I need to do to rent it out, but that's about as exciting as it gets.

Date: 2008-08-12 11:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
When I get annoying indoor ants -- "annoying" defined as actual lines of ants and not random scouts -- I find whatever they are eating, get more of it, mix in some boric acid, and then put that in their path. Takes a few days and then, no more ants!

Boric acid is used by jewelers (and other people) as a flux; I have about 3/4 a pound of it still I think.

Date: 2008-08-13 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i'm a bit concerned about my cat getting into the boric acid -- i put out ant baits last night and there already seem to be fewer ants this morning, so perhaps this will suffice.

Date: 2008-08-13 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
On the one hand, boric acid isn't very toxic to the larger mammals. On the other hand, I take two bits of wood (e.g. old chopsticks) and set them to either side of the bait and then put a heavy bowl upside on them -- ant access, not easy pet access! Tada!

Anyway, the pro baits are essentially that, in a handy plastic container. Should work fine

Date: 2008-08-13 02:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ah, but i have not your mad engineering skillz. i'll remember this for next time, although the ant baits were pretty cheap anyway. downside: Iceberg Slim initially thought they were cat toys and started batting one around. fortunately, i convinced him that a ball of paper was much more interesting, because it could be shredded and thus transformed into a large mess.

Date: 2008-08-13 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
On the one hand, boric acid isn't very toxic to the larger mammals.

also, i imagine it depends how much they ingest, and there's no way of knowing how much Iceberg might take it into his head to eat, should he find boric acid irresistibly delicious. not only does he lick plastic and chew Q-Tips and eat Vaseline right out of the tub, i've also found him gnawing on a lit xmas tree bulb (!!!!) and, on one memorable occasion, the broken glass from an ornament he'd batted off the tree. (no more xmas decorations for me!) crunch crunch crunch! i rushed him to the vet, who found him completely unharmed, much to everyone's amazement.

a cat that will eat broken glass must be assumed to potentially eat ANYTHING.

Date: 2008-08-13 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Goodness -- yeah, for THAT cat, definitely, extra caution is called for.

Date: 2008-09-02 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Chekhov found a bobbin of sewing string and ate it, and my sister, who was watching him while we were in Singapore, had to rush him to the emergency hospital for surgery after he started puking nonstop. Thankfully, it only bruised his insides and didn't cut any vital organs. The cost of the whole thing? $4,000. (We apparently got the George Clooney of pet surgeons, too.) For a mangy mutt I bought for $25, he's become very expensive indeed. We had to accept donations from family members just to able to afford saving his life.

Three weeks after he came back from the hospital, we found him with more string, even though we COMBED the entire house for the offending objects. Thank God, we got it out of him before he swallowed any, dumb cat.

Date: 2008-09-02 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Cats! What can you do? They're just so determined.

Date: 2008-08-13 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
there are clients in the lab today, which means i need to look busy even though i have absolutely nothing to do.

To my mind, this is one of the saddest things about the demise (or horrible undeath) of old-school USENET. If you were using *rn or clients of that vintage, you just looked busy to a casual observer,

Date: 2008-08-13 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Distraction also works. If they want water, leave them water outside. If they want sugar, leave them honey outside. I they want entertainment, wave your arms over your head and lead them outside in a conga line. If they want spiritual or career guidance, learn to speak ant.

Or: they hate cinnamon and will avoid it. Make a Maginot Line of cinnamon. Mix it with glycerin and paint lines on your walls to hem them in. Our kitchen looked like it was anointed with The Blood Of The Cinnamon Lamb.

Date: 2008-08-13 02:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
mine are, alas, coming in through the base of an interior wall and spending most of their time on the carpet, where Iceberg Slim provides them with gifts of pre-digested kibble on a regular basis. the ant baits seem to be helping already, though.

Date: 2008-08-13 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
One idea that seemed to work for a friend of mine, is to leave little piles of artificial sweetener...the ants take it because it is sweet, but because it has 0 calories, it starves them out.

Date: 2008-08-14 02:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like the ants. It means the termites are being kept in line.


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