Mr. Sensitive

August 29, 2010

If You Were The Worst Dog

Filed under: House,Pet Nasty War,Pets — lbej @ 21:10
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This is the sort of thing you would do to a rug:

Dozens of times.  It will take at least three showers to wash off the experience of rolling up this pee-soaked carpet.  I would be able to focus my powerful hatred on Wilson more consistently if his own self-hatred didn’t ethereally neutralize it.  When I enter a room he’s in I swear I can feel this happen.

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August 18, 2010

Pet Nasty War – Blockade Running

Filed under: Pet Nasty War — lbej @ 16:12
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I had not been inspecting the hall over the past few days because it has been blockaded during that time and I saw no need.  Then today I noticed that the wood floor was discolored in a notorious spot near the bathroom door, and investigation revealed that the dog has peed in that spot several times since the hall was mopped and barricaded.  Not only that, but I then discovered still more places where he has gotten past the blockade.  I estimate that he has peed in the hall at least five times since I put in place the measures that I hoped would stop him.  I scrubbed and mopped yet again this afternoon, but I am very disheartened about the prospect of ever breaking him.  Nevertheless, my floors will not be destroyed by an animal.  What he is doing is unacceptable and I simply will not allow it to continue.  He will stay outside for the foreseeable future, because it seems the only way I can be certain he won’t pee in the house is if he’s not in the house at all.  I don’t like this dog and I don’t care if he spends the rest of his life outside–although I won’t let any harm come to him–but the girls won’t be happy about it.  I considered letting him into the hall to see if he would pee in front of me–I suspect he would–so I could then punish him to establish the negative association I need.  But I can’t do it now.  I’m too angry to risk the confrontation.  I’m going to end up tying myself to this stupid dog so that he does nothing without my knowledge.  I could resent my mother for this, but really I’m just relieved that Law & Order didn’t start until I was older because otherwise I’d probably still be wearing a diaper myself.

August 16, 2010

Pet Nasty War – Assessment

Filed under: Pet Nasty War — lbej @ 15:15
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One goes to war because the national will requires it.  The nation’s will must be realized in fact or that nation will be destroyed and debased down to the last generation.   External resistance and internal imperfection, our enemies and ourselves, present obstacles to the realization of our national will.  War is the means whereby our most implacable enemies are destroyed, and history has shown us too that it is in this crucible of war that we find our national character perfected.  Thus it is through war that our obstacles are overcome and our will takes shape.  I have seen this and I know it, for it is true for all people and for all time.  That is why I am all the time declaring war on everything: animals and plants, inanimate objects, ideas and memories.  Everything, everywhere, forever, war.  The imposition by force of my will against any and all resistance.

I declared war on the pets and their flagrant nastiness back in April, and I want to take a moment to review the progress of the war while my head hurts too much to do anything else.  My war aims seem to have been as follows:

1.  Stop Wilson the dog from peeing on the carpets in the upstairs hall, Jenny’s room, and Reagan’s room every night.

2.  Stop Wilson from pooping in Reagan’s room.

3.  Stop Lulu the cat from shredding the front door.

4.  Improve the condition of the office, ruined by the cats and the dog.

5.  Stop the hamsters from kicking bedding all over the floor and into the dresser in Jenny’s room.

Overall, progress has been decent, even good.  The hamsters are dead, so that takes care of #5 (R.I.P. though, seriously).  My triumph in regards to #4 was more resounding and resplendent than I had dared to conceive beforehand.  The litter boxes were relocated to the master bedroom closet upstairs absolutely without incident; the carpet is gone, replaced with a new floor, and at minimal expense; the room is clean and reorganized for use as my headquarters.  This success alone redeems the entire war as waged up to this point.  #2 has also been accomplished, but only because Reagan’s room has been closed off altogether.  #1 has largely been achieved as well, owing to the removal of the carpets in the hall and Jenny’s room.  Which leaves #3.  Can’t win ’em all, I guess.

The Pet Nasty War would, I believe, now be over, except for the major development I did not foresee: the entrance of my mother’s dog on the side of Wilson and the cats.  Now we have a young, energetic dog that my mother owned just long enough that she was able to teach him to pee and poop in the house.  And so the war evolves and continues.  There remains one major initiative that falls under the aegis of the Pet Nasty War, at least in part: reclamation of Reagan’s room and its conversion into a playroom/nursery.  I am scouting out the terrain for the coming campaign this week; it will be called Operation Dollhouse.  Once that is finished, the original aims of the Pet Nasty War will have been achieved.  Except #3.

August 13, 2010

Pet Nasty War – Tightening The Blockade

Filed under: Imperial Army,Pet Nasty War — lbej @ 11:18
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Zondro has been peeing in the front hall.  I was aware of several incidents and I was beginning to fear myself at risk of losing the hall, but I needn’t have worried: it was already lost.  I’ve been forced to scuttle both rugs.  They are damaged beyond repair and it is clear to me now that they were never anything but cannon fodder.

This is my mother’s fault.  Despite the fact that she had nothing to do but walk her dog, she decided to teach him to use ‘Pee Pads’ so that he could just pee in the house and she could finish watching Law & Order.   These pads are like little rugs.  So what happened is my mother taught the dog to pee on rugs.

Since we inherited the dog we have taught it successfully that it is supposed to pee when we take it outside.  We used positive reinforcement for this, praise and the occasional dog treat.  The problem is that it doesn’t know that it IS NOT supposed to pee in the house.  A regimen of purely positive reinforcement can work when the decisions the dog has before it are mutually exclusive.  For example, when he sees one of the cats, he can either act aggressively towards it or not act aggressively.  When he makes one choice, he necessary forgoes the other.  He’s gotten better about not attacking them, and when one goes by and he just disregards it, we pat him and praise him for leaving it alone.  This is because he’s only got two choices, attack or don’t, and we can reward him for making the choice we want him to make, knowing that it necessarily prevents him from also making the one we don’t.  This problem is different.  He can pee outside and pee in the house, and in fact is doing precisely that, evidently all the time.  He understands that it is good to pee outside, but he doesn’t understand that he must pee outside, that it is bad to do otherwise.  Thus a program of regular surveilance and reprisal must be imposed immediately.  The problem is not the dog.  If I yell at him and threaten him, and he can make the connection between the yelling and something he’s doing (attacking the cats, for example), he generally seems to stop, if for no other reason that to assess the threat.  He seems to have a sense of self-preservation, along with the equally important sense that he will be unable to preserve himself unless I give him leave to do so, and I can use those things.  Again, he is not the problem.  The softies I live with are the problem.  The other day they just watched him pee on one of the rugs in the hall.  Just watched him, gutless and useless.  So here’s what’s happening.

Directive #1: The current state of urinary anarchy is an imminent threat to the safety and and integrity of the Empire.  During the period of the emergency the execution of all such plans I shall devise and related decisions I shall take will not be contingent upon political approval and it is anticipated that such approval will seldom be sought.  The Empress can rebuke me once the crisis has passed if she sees fit to do so.

Directive #2: The dog will be punished for peeing in the house.  Individuals known to have failed in this duty will be admonished loudly and meanly.  And I’m still going to get the dog, so you’re not doing him any favors by going easy on him.

Directive #3: The dog blockade which has been imposed around the office will be extended to the hallway.  I have spent the morning scrubbing it so as to eradicate definitively every last pee molecule.  However, the crux of the problem is detection.  The color of the wood floor in the hall is evidently the exact color of the offense itself, and it is virtually undetectable when dry.  The only way I can be sure the dog doesn’t pee in the hall is if he’s never in the hall alone.  The dog, therefore, is not longer permitted to enter the hallway except under guard.

I will leave it to my field officers to implement these directives.  If, owing to incompetence or inattention, I am forced to direct day-to-day operations myself you had better believe the courts-martial will be coming.

August 7, 2010

Pet Nasty War – Greek Fire

Filed under: Pet Nasty War — lbej @ 17:37
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Greek Fire is the name commonly used for an incendiary fluid that the Byzantines launched at warships during naval battles.  The exact composition of Greek Fire was an Imperial secret and has been lost to history, but it appears to have functioned much like napalm.  Whatever it was, it was ejected onto enemy vessels from pressurized Byzantine cannons, and once it was set alight, the Empire’s enemies of the day had no idea how to extinguish it.  The Greek Fire would consume the ships of the enemy fleet, and even after they were sunk, the blaze would continue on the surface of the water until the mixture was dissipated by the weather.  Constantinople is strategically vulnerable from the sea, and Greek Fire was the secret weapon that saved the Roman Empire of the East from extinction at the hands of Muslim conquerors on more than one occasion.  The secret of the Fire was seemingly lost even to its creators and it was not used by the Empire after the 12th century.  Constantinople fell in 1453 owing more to the Black Death than anything else; still, it might have helped if the Byzantine Greeks could magically set anything on fire.  If nothing else, they could’ve burned the diseased bodies of plague victims faster.

On that pleasant note, I have to report that I am now facing a noxious, seemingly mystical weapon in my own struggles for conquest.  The inherited dog is doing something to the couches in the family room.  The dog farts constantly, silently, and invasively.  When he’s in the room, the smell is especially pungent.  But the devilish part is that it never leaves.  If the dog has been upstairs in Jenny’s room for the night, the family room stinks.  If he’s been outside all day, the family room stinks.  The stench is irrepressible and invariable.  I thought it could be me, but I don’t smell it any other time, and I doubt somehow that I am reacting chemically with some element present only in the family room.  Also my principle elemental hanger-on is chlorine.   Nothing works on the Dog Fire, not Lysol, not bleach, not Febreze, not actual fire (just candles—so far).  I spray something, lots of it.  I soak the couch with purity, then I wait.  And back it comes.  Zondro has somehow changed the chemical composition of the couch fibers with his atom-splitting farts.  Needless to say, and thus said needlessly, my existing antipathy toward these couches has not lessened.  The next step is torches.  It could help, it probably won’t, but does that even matter?  Torches justify themselves.

July 28, 2010

Pet Nasty War – VO Day Declared

Filed under: Pet Nasty War — lbej @ 14:34
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I am declaring today Victory in the Office Day.  From the doorway it looks like this:

And from behind the desk it looks like this:

(The display case on the left holds my collection of figures representing historical American military units, and that’s my replica U.S. Constitution by the door.)

The Pet Nasty War is ended in this theater.  Any animal elimination in the office will henceforth be considered a Crime Against Peace as defined by Principle VI of the Nuremburg Principles, and will be punished accordingly.

July 27, 2010

Six Day War – Day Two

Filed under: House,Operation Mortal Coil,Pet Nasty War,Six Day War — lbej @ 08:58
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The office will be done today.  Progression has been from cat poop room last week

to sawdust room this weekend

to something halfway decent-looking yesterday:

Already I wiped down and moved the furniture, swept and mopped the floor, and washed and repainted the walls.  This morning I will repatriate books, furniture and other items and hang on the walls whatever it is I decide to hang on them.  After that I will review my Operation Mortal Coil aims, objectives, and tasks.  My intention is that the entire grim operation should be concluded by the end of this month and a thorough review will help me to identify the gaps I need to close to make that happen.

July 26, 2010

Six Day War

I have been nibbling at three broad strategic initiatives I have described before as Operation Mortal Coil, Operation Coda, and the Pet Nasty War.  Ordinarily all three are subordinate to what I shall call Operation Fun Citizen, the more-or-less systematic discharge of my responsibilities as primary caregiver and life commander for the children.  My objective is to let them have some fun over the summer whilst learning things that will, in my judgment, make them more thoughtful citizens as they mature.  They are my gift to the future of humanity and efforts to temper them accordingly take precedence over whatever other aims I might have.  I cannot countenance anyone else having sustained control over the children equal to mine, but that is not to say I can’t make use of the occasional holiday.  And so it is now that they are visiting their grandparents in Hilton Head this week, having left yesterday and planning to return next Saturday.  That gives me a period of six days to devote to OMC, Coda, and Pet Nasty.  This Six Day War began yesterday afternoon with the laying of a new floor in the office, the reclamation of which was a key objective in the Pet Nasty War.  I will finish transforming said office by the end of the day tomorrow.  There is a thick layer of sawdust on everything in the room owing to the sanding of the floor and the final disposition of furniture and other items cannot be made until the room is cleaned yet again.  Once that is done, I will return for the last time to Operation Mortal Coil.   I judge that I need one last great retrospective and ritual filing-away, what I suspect will amount to a controlled demolition.  This is best undertaken while the girls are away, as the emphasis will be on the demolition and not so much on the control.  Thus I will have put my mother away where I mean for her to remain, and I can have a better look at myself.  I’m putting that on the schedule for Thursday.

July 22, 2010

Pet Nasty War – Office Landings Unopposed

Filed under: Pet Nasty War,Pets — lbej @ 13:16
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It had been my intention to focus on the master bedroom today.  It was the Hindenburg Line for last week’s birthday renovations, the great redoubt upon which clothes, toys and furniture might crash without front line operations becoming compromised.  But now that Jenny’s room has been successfully transformed, I’m tripping over a Barbie vanity three times a night for no good reason.  I had been at it no more than five minutes this morning when both cats arrived in rapid succession to blow up the litter box.  I retreated lest I should be felled by the stench, and when I returned thirty minutes later they were sleeping in the piles of clothes I had left on the bed.  It was a masterful coup de main and a clear setback, but it presented an opportunity as well.  If I know where both cats are–I seldom do–then I know also where they are not: they are not trying to get into the office while I am working to empty it.  So I cleared it, all of it, before lunch, leaving only the large bookshelves and the desk.  These pieces of furniture will remain where they are because they are too heavy and cumbersome for me to move.  I can live with that because they have never been moved and thus the space they cover is pristine.  Now the carpet is at my mercy.  I may destroy it now and I may not.

Pet Nasty War – Three Alls

Filed under: Pet Nasty War,Pets — lbej @ 12:40
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Cat/dog Sankō Sakusen: pee on all, poop on all, puke on all.  This is what they did to the office:

And it’s worse than it looks.

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