Mr. Sensitive

March 23, 2012

I Might Need Empress Elizabeth To Die

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 20:55

I’ve been outside in nature this evening–burning things that needed burning–and what I’ve learned about nature is that there is already an awful lot of it.  We never had anything like a deep freeze this winter, and the freezes we had were repeatedly broken up by 60-degree days, so that many growing things not in need of a head start this spring got one anyway.  On balance, last year was positively pacific, from a spider standpoint.  Relations with the Yard Dominion were as close to rosy as I can imagine them getting, if for no other reason than that the spiders needed desperately to rebuild their strength and couldn’t risk war.  The Basement War of 2010 deprived them of all territory indoors, and the winter of 2010-2011 was harsher than usual.  The result was that they suffered terribly during that winter on top of the heavy casualties taken during the War.  At no point during 2011 did the Yard Dominion possess anything near the strength it had during 2009.  Add to that the reclamation of the pond and its environs, and the Dominion may have seemed to be in permanent eclipse.  Under such circumstances, diplomacy was the only option for the spiders.  Now I fear the tide is turning.

Here is the crux of the problem:  I’m really tired.  Book Four is kicking my behind.  I’m kicking its behind worse, but the Book War has undoubtedly cost me dearly in terms of physical endurance and mental focus.  Plus there’s a baby here, pretty much all the time.  I intended to bleach up the basement last fall–I didn’t.  I intended to cut back the bushes in the front yard–I didn’t.  I intended to force the girls to clean up the disaster they left when they requisitioned the Apple Floor Room for use as their clubhouse last summer–I didn’t.  So the basement is a mess.  It’s nowhere near the disaster it was at this time in 2010, prior to the Basement War.  I used it throughout the winter and have been mindful in my ordering of it to make re-infestation as difficult as possible (no open containers, no furniture in corners or up against walls, no large groupings of items).  The Dominion has not retaken the basement, nor has it positioned itself overtly to do so.  But it very well could.

The spider advantages are mounting:  short and shallow winter means they will be able to mobilize rapidly from a broader initial base; the Book War has weakened and distracted me, so I’m hardly the foe I was last year; and the basement defenses are substandard at best.  What is to be done to ameliorate these conditions?  Well, I can’t do anything about the weather.  As for the Book War, all I can do in that regard is what I’ve been doing, namely, press on.  I expect to finish the first draft the last week of May or the first week of June.  But if I wait until then to move against the Dominion it will be too late.  What I have to do, and all I can do, is shore up the house’s defenses.  I need to do that this weekend, or next weekend at the latest.  I can’t go into April this woefully under strength.

I don’t believe that the Dominion would ally itself with Book Four.  Maybe this is purely wishful thinking on my part; to be sure, I would be as unprepared for such a diplomatic revolution as Frederick the Great was for the emergence of the Franco-Russo-Austro alliance that materialized against him in 1757.  If not for the superb condition of his army (thanks more to his father than to him) and the ineptitude of the French and the Austrians, Prussia would have been wiped off the map before the point England withdrew her financial support of Frederick’s army in 1760.  At that, though, only what became known as the ‘Miracle of the House of Brandenburg’–the sudden death of Frederick-hating Russian Empress Elizabeth in 1762 and the accession of her Frederick-loving nephew as Tsar Peter III–could save Prussia.  Peter promptly pulled Russia out of the Seven Years’ War and Frederick just as promptly beat down the Austrians, and everybody lived happily ever after, except for all the ones who were already dead.  The Dominion isn’t likely to latch on to Book Four as an attractive ally; whereas the spiders should be in ascendance in the coming months, the Book is undoubtedly on its last legs.  I finished a longish Chapter 18 on Wednesday and I’m strongly considering starting on the shorter 19 tomorrow.  The wiser course would probably be to invade the basement in strength tomorrow afternoon.  If I don’t strike soon, I may need a miracle of my own to prevent a full-scale spider assault on the house.  By which I mean I’m going to douse the swing set with gasoline and set it on fire.



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