Diane loves furmination
Tuesday, August 2 2022
Gretchen talked to the receptionist at the dental office this morning, and she had absolutely no idea that the crown being replaced was one that the dentist she works for had installed less than a year before. Of course we wouldn't have to pay for it, and she even said she was happy Gretchen had called. So, because I have an assertive wife, our household is a kilobuck richer than we were at sundown yesterday. It's been said many times, but I'll say it again: Gretchen and I are a great team. She handles the human interactions, and I handle the interactions with things that are not humans (with some slight overlap on non-human animals).
I was having more work-related paranoia, mostly because I've been stuck working on fixing issues with a huge stored procedure that takes hours to run, something I've been working on for over a month. I've been making some progress, though, and this evening, well after the workday had ended, I made a bit more. I saw a dramatic improvement to the performance of a subphase of the procedure when I cached the records of a table-value function in a temp table. Such good results give me a jolt of motivation, though I often end up being disappointed when I find that applying these techniques in other subphases don't produce similar improvements. Or I find that improvements observed after a long break from working on the project are a mirage, the result of my having commented-out large swaths of the procedure and then forgetting that I had done that.
Over the past month or so, Diane the Cat has developed a line of knots in the fur of her lower spine for a couple inches above the base of her tail. I'd been worried that this was the result of some sort of skin condition, and I even had a dream the other day where there was Stranger-Things-style gore under those knots. But today Diane jumped into my lap and I used the Furminator (a fine comb that I keep near my desk in the laboratory and mostly use on Oscar the Cat whenever he's in my lap) to gradually comb out the knots. Once they were gone, the skin beneath them looked normal and healthy. Not all cats are happy to have their fur combed, especially if they (like Diane) are unfamiliar with the process, but Diane seemed to really like it, even when it was a bit painful (which it must've been given the effort it took to get out those knots). This combing produced a lot of fur, which I added to the existing ball of Diane's fur. Her fur is shorter and coarser than Oscar's and doesn't "felt" as readily, but I was able to increase the ball's size substantially. One fun project for these hair balls would be to somehow apply Diane's fur to an existing ball of Oscar's fur to form the shape of continents and make a little globe (of Planet Earth).
Meanwhile, Gretchen had gone out to the movies with Nancy and Sarah the Vegan. Sarah had some sad news: her old toothless calico cat Effy had died. Effy had always been a dud of a cat (even more of one than our cats), so hopefully her next companion animal will have a bit more spice. Gretchen thinks Sarah will hold off on adopting a replacement for awhile and, somewhat surprisingly, her next critter will likely be a small dog.
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