Monday, January 31, 2005

Stupid Dog Again

Randy went and got his butt infected and we are all dealing with the lampshade again. Has something to do with his anal gland being plugged, [probably from the apple episode] he scratched it and now it is infected. $250 kaching. Went through two more hoods at $14 kaching, kaching. My daughter and I figured out how to repair them with reinforcing tape and it worked. He just broke them somewhere else. However he got one off and just ate it so no more repairs on that one. She went back to the Animal Hospital and bought two more kaching, kaching plus she got the Dr to write a prescription for a five day supply of tranquilizers, Kaching, Kaching, Kaching. Now he doesn't care about licking his butt, just being a mellow, nice dog so we took the lampshade off. Once again, Go Figure. We should keep him on tranquilizers until he is two and out of the puppy stage.

Prior to Randy we had three nice, little dogs. Two have died of old age and the third is still with us being the most mellow and nicest dog. I have noticed a definite correlation between the price we pay for the dogs and their size. Simon is a Shih Tzu. It cost us about the same to have all three dogs go to the groomers as Randy costs to get a bath and blow dried. Randy eats 3 cups of dried dog food plus one can of a special diet something or other every day[Kaching, Kaching] Simon eats about one can per day. Simon wore a lampshade once and the cost was about one forth of Randys plus he never broke any or ate any. Now that I think about it, Simon never ate any of my hats, glasses, never ate a loaf of bread or a bag of apples. We still have Simon's original leash.

Besides two dogs we also have a guinea pig, Patch his name is and Mike the fish is recently deceased or flushed. Guinea Pigs are not all that they are cracked up to be. We have had two as we did not learn anything after the first one. They stink, they poop everywhere, even in their food dishes, and they do nothing. Come to think of it, the 1st one might have been a hampster. Anyway, about the only value I can find would be for experiments. They absolutely have no other value. Patch comes out of his house twice a day, that I notice. That would be when I am walking by as he squeek/oinks at me because once in a while I give him carrots. Actually I give him carrots every day but that doesn't mean I like him. I have to give him carrots or he won't stop sqeek/oinking at me. Mike was sort of a waste. He really didn't do anything except swim around and around in the bowl. He didn't squeek/oink at me and he never ever ate any of my prized possessions. We never took him to the vets office, didn't even get sick except once and then it was just a simple pushing of the toilet handle and it was over with. I'll admit I never got very close to him though. I'm searching for a moral to this story but I can't find one. Moral's you know are a very good way to end a long story and it makes the reader think that there was something learned. I would guess that the moral would be " all of them are not as bad as keeping cats" but that's a whole different story.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Not much to say

Not much to say Posted by Hello Thought I would add to the previous post "5 degrees...." about Randys trials and tribulations. You are probably saying "Poor Randy", Right? Well let me tell you he ate 3 of these lampshades at $14 each. This picture is of the third and largest size. He would hook it onto his haunch and then bend it so he could lick himself or eat the shade. We were all beat up from him running into us, so we quit the project and took the remainder of this lampshade off of him. Once we took it off he hardley licks himself. Go figure.

In that same January 19th posting I reported on the unchewable bed find I had made. I am happy to report that it has been in use for 4 days now and the bed is still intact. He managed to open up the velcro fastner at the end of the bed, once, that is used to change the filling but that is all. He really works at chewing the bed but to no avail. Glory be!!

More Chinese Cardboard

It is several days past my Grandsons 8th birthday party and once again I am confronted by a large pile of Chinese Cardboard. He got more Lego's and things that are called "Transformers" for his birthday. All were packaged in Chinese Cardboard. At first I was upset that Lego's were in Chinese Cardboard but then I realized that they weren't an American Company after all. Of Swedish origin's, I believe, and so am I. At least 50% of me is anyway. We can forgive a "Other Country" company from using Chinese Cardboard and my scorn, can't we? I've blogged about the structure and values of Chinese Cardboard in an earlier post and won't bother you with details. Most of these boxes said Made in Denmark, Bangladesh and Singapore [the thinly veiled code word for Chinese Cardboard]. This morning I tried to provide Chinese Cardboard with a real use in my shop. When I start my morning fire I put in wadded up newspapers [one sheet at a time please] small, thin, pieces of wood. Then larger pieces of wood and then big pieces of wood. When a match is introduced, a quick burning fire results heating my entire shop with hardly any smoke. This morning I introduced Chinese Cardboard on top of the newspapers with the anticipated result being a quicker hotter fire. Well the damn Chinese Cardboard didn't burn well at all and the result was that ever hole, seam, rust spot in the stove [note. Old Stove] started oozing large amounts of Chinese Smoke, filling the entire shop with a sort of greenish haze. There I was breathing Chinese Smoke trying to get my fire going. Finely I heard the roar as the stove came on line, eating up the Chinese Smoke and warming my shop. Now I have to spend the day smelling like a Chinese Forest Fire. In my earlier blog I had proved the value of Chinese Cardboard as a fuel, much like a log but I cannot find a value for it other than that. The moral to this story is "Don't Try To Use Chinese Cardboard To Start A Fire"

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

5 below and counting

[This was to be for Wed but I forgot to post]Another day is upon us and it is now 5 below, I'm not impressed. Started out this morning with to many layers. I guess I'm turning out to be a bit of a wimp in my old age. Our 5 below is moderated by watching a report from MN where it was 51 below. Have a brother in MN, I will have to call him and ask him about that. An update now on the continuing saga of "What to do with Randy". Took him to the Animal Hospital this morning to be cut and have a few other things fixed. He was the star as soon as we entered. Went to the counter to check in and Randy put his front paws up on the counter to greet everyone and then proceeded to walk 3 feet back and then back to the counter. Everyone oww-ed and aw-ed and said what a smart dog, "you must have sent him to obedience school." If they only knew. He had chewed through his leash by the time we got there. I think his new one will be made out of chain!

I think we have found a solution to Randys bed eating problem. I order a lot of work clothing and other things from as they have a very wide assortment of hard to find tools/clothes/specialbags/etc for the tradesman and now they have dog equipment. The owner of the company had problems with his dog, a golden lab, that was eating up beds and so he designed one that his dog couldn't eat. We shall see.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Pinewood Derby time again

It is tough to post when your wearing a winter parka and it is so cold that your fingers don't work. The bright side is that I can't be held responsible for any spelling errors. Blame it on the fingers. I know, I know it is a lot colder up in Canada and over in Buffalo where some of our new friends reside but this is our coldest day for the year and it is going to get tougher. I have mixed feeling about the weather as I work in a cemetery. The cold weather allows the ground to refreeze and we can drive over it without doing damage. Friday we had to dig a grave and in the process ripped up about 30 graves getting in and out. Warm weather with rain. This gives us lots to do in the spring. This weather allowed our New England Patriots to easily roll over the Colts who live life in a domed stadium.

My daughter, the Den Mother, informed me last night that it is "Pinewood Derby" time again. Being that I am a Grandfather of a "Pinewood Derby" participant, wouldn't I like to help him build a car again this year [we came in last, I believe]? And, by the way, wouldn't I want to help the other boys and their fathers, in the Den, who don't have a place to build their cars, or the tools? I could let them use my work shop but only with my supervision and terms [I assume this is to help ward off lost fingers and eyes and to help preclude future law suits]. She said there would only be four boys and fathers at a time, to make me feel better. Somehow that doesn't help. I said "OK" knowing it was the wrong thing to say.

I would love to stay and visit but tis time to pull on the insulated underwear, insulated boots, Scotch Cap, three more layers and venture out onto the frozen landscape. Earn my keep, so to say. My Grandson who is still sound asleep [holiday] probably has visions of "Pinewood Derby" car designs dancing in his head. I can't wait. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 14, 2005

12 year old arrested for murder

I don't want to make this a political Blog or a heavy Blog but something I can't let go by without a comment.We have a case here locally where a 12 year old has been arrested and charged with murder in the death of a 3 year old. Seems the 12 year old was charged with watching the 3 year old and repeatedly raped and beat him and the 3 year old eventually died of severe head injuries. Now the 12 yearold's mother has been charged with murder as she knew about the rape and beatings and didn't intervene. The mother of the 3 year old had to go to Puerto Rico on a business trip and left the 3 year old in the care of someone who turned him over to the 12 year old's mother to take care of. The Story can be viewed here. The upsetting thing is that this story has been running for about a week now and both of our local stations have been running the story with the pictures of the little boy at his recent and last birthday as well as photos of him in the hospital, in a coma, as Dr's tried to save him. The birthday party is not in the above mentioned clip only the hospital scene. I have no objection to the story being the lead story, every day, because it has been changing every day but rather my objection is to the showing of the little boy at his birthday party and in the hospital with almost every repeat of the story. I think this is sensationalism a very sad story in a readership race by the two local stations. The other channel is WGGB and does not have streaming video so is probably losing the ratings race at this time but it is the news channel we usually watch and they show all of the same videos. Enough is enough! But I don't know how you make your voice heard or give an opinion that anyone listens to. May be they keep showing these pictures because it is what we want to watch?? I hope not.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Tardy 2

Sorry about that as I wrote my title and hit the wrong key, probably enter, and it published. Just like magic. Kinda sums up my entire thought process when it comes to computers.

Back on Randy. He kind of consumes my life. Decided to take him to the vets after yesterday morning when he left me a surprise to wake up to. I also thought he had an ear infection. Yup I was right as the dog had an ear infection [2 infections] and had diarrhea probably resulting from the fact he gorged himself on apples. Not a good thing for dogs, I guess. Anyway, I spent $94 of my daughters money [her dog] to get the diagnosis, bottle of antibiotics, a huge tube of ear infection medicine, a five day supply of bland dog food at $1.85 per can and he got weighed [50#]. I have been taking him for walks at night but I was worried that he would break the collar he has and take off on another adventure. Bought him a nice harness that he wouldn't be able to break away from for $14. Yup, you guessed it. He ate the harness. Took him about 30 minutes to get through it. Enough about Randy. I'll find other things to write about.


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

What to do with Randy?

Randy ate his bed. We had a nice dog cushion in the kitchen, where Randy sleeps at night, and in a five minute period, when he was left alone, he shredded the bed and there was shredded rubber filling everywhere. Now he sleeps on the floor. He is chewing us out of house and bed. To top it off, he had just came inside after a dash for freedom that almost finished him off. We have a large parking lot behind our house that is used for the office and maintenance shop and nightly Randy and I play fetch. I throw the ball and he goes gets it and brings it back, circling me two or three times as part of the game. Not a real good retriever yet. The last retrieval resulted in his circling me once and then taking off for a tour of the neighborhood. His first Romp as we call it. Trouble is the front of our house has a busy four lane highway and he raced out into the middle of it showing everyone how good he is at bounding. He bounds like a deer sometimes?? When I got close [out in the middle of the four lanes of busy traffic] he would take off. Finally he reached the other sidewalk, which bounds our cemetery and headed West. Remembering that I was 61 and I wanted to make it to my scheduled physical today, I slowed down and was loosing sight of him. A jogger stopped Randy and petted him, about 4 blocks away, grabbing his collar and headed East with him, figuring someone was probably looking for him. What a nice man. Just goes to show you that all joggers aren't bad. Now what to do with Randy?

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Smoking Story

Hi Dayna and Denise
I started smoking when I was 17. The reason I started was some kind of peer thing. After that it was a constant struggle to quit. Every New Year it was one of my resolutions. Over the years I tried everything that was out there to help you stop except hypnotism. I never would let anyone hypnotise me because I was always afraid they would make me run around in circles, flapping my arms and clucking like a chicken. It wasn't worth the risk. I even managed to quit a couple of times but only for a month or so. Once I quit on Nicorete Gum. I couldn't stand the taste of the gum nor the effect of it, so I started cutting it up into little pieces. About 1/16 of a piece was all I could stand so when I had an urge I would take this tiny piece and it would make the urge go away. It worked and I was smoke free. Then one night sitting in a bar with some friends I reached over and took a cigarette out of someone's pack and it was all over. So much for good intentions as they were not working with me. 6 years ago I was working on my computer and suddenly I started coughing up blood. My wife hustled me off to the local hospital and we spent the evening there trying to determine what was wrong. When I got back home and you probably know what I'm going to say, the first thing I did was light a cigarette. Then I put it out and said to myself "you've got to be the biggest jerk in the world for lighting up after that". I sat at my desk and just concentrated on all of the reasons I needed to quit, no written lists, just concentration. I thought about; how I smelled, my teeth, my clothes, my grandson, my general health, the public taboo that was just now starting to show up, most of my friends didn't smoke, the hastle of standing outside of no smoking places to catch a quick one, the money I was losing from 3 packs a day, and the reasons went on and on. I wouldn't let my self quit the process. Finally I stopped and said "no more smoking". The bleeding was because I was taking to much aspirin for a toothache. Interestingly when I stopped the aspirin I found out that I didn't have a toothache. Go figure? It wasn't easy but I persevered but it was easier than it ever had been because I had my mind made up for good. No more good intentions just dogged determination. My wife helped because she gave it up also but that didn't last very long for her. I concentrated on all of the negative things about smoking, the next few months. Things such as; how my clothes smelled when I got home at night from being in a bar, how my skin smelled, watching people have to go outside to smoke in the freezing weather, getting into my wife's car, all of the things I had concentrated on coming out of the Hospital. No lists to read but each time I got an urge to light up I concentrated on why I didn't want to smoke. I've now stopped for 6 years and I don't feel that I would ever want to go back again. I still have short urges to smoke but just a tiny thought or two about the negative aspects chases the urge away. What I really wanted was for my wife to quit. I knew that it would do absolutely no good for me to try and force her, or embarrass her or hassle her. She had to do it on her own. Finally she said "You need a new pickup, time to retire 'Old Blue". I argued that we couldn't afford a new pickup for me and besides "Old Blue" had lots of miles in her. My wife announced that she would quit smoking and use that money to make the payments on the truck. I jumped on that offer in a heartbeat. The other benefit was that when my wife quit, my daughter quit and we now all have each other to fall back on. I think my secret was when I stopped making lists and just plain concentrated on reason to quit. It's like putting real meat in with good intentions.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Old Blue

This afternoon I was reclining in my NEW pickup truck, listening to some good old country tunes and awaiting the arrival of my Grandson from his classroom. I was harking back to the day I paid off the bank on "Old Blue". It was 1992. When I paid her off I decided to get a savings account and make 1/2 of my payment every month to that account and then when I needed a new truck it would probably be paid for. Well, don't you know, when I bought the new truck I had to take out a loan for almost the entire cost of the pickup. I couldn't find the money. Hell I couldn't even find the account it was supposed to be in. What ever happens to good intentions and this was a good one? Not as good as when I gave up smoking but that's a different story. It took a couple of days to get everything straightened out and when I left to go get the new pickup, I glanced over at "Old Blue". I got 160,000 miles and 14 years out of her without any major problems and had even driven her that morning. There she sat with a huge puddle of transmission oil beneath her. True Story.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

New Years Day

Hi Danya
Thanks for the New Years Greeting. Speaking of New Years ( I think this is called a segway). WOW, what a learning experience this is as I looked up the spelling of segway on and I found the following: se·gue intr.v. se·gued, se·gue·ing, se·gues
Music. To make a transition directly from one section or theme to another.
To move smoothly and unhesitatingly from one state, condition, situation, or element to another: "Daylight segued into dusk" (Susan Dworski). Segway is spelled segue and pronounced segway. Never would of thought that.

Going forward, Speaking of New Years, we all made it to midnight. All 4 of us made it and we whooped and hollered along with New York City and then all went to bed. We had a great party, ate lots of great food, played games [I beat my grandson at Go Fish for the first time ever] and rang in 05 in high fashion. We even had a prayer by little Sam for his Nena's great Maple Walnut Bread which was passed down from her Nana. I had to agree.

2/3 Cup of Crisco
2 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cup walnut meats chopped
2 teaspoon vanilla
1] Cream Crisco with brown sugar
2] Add eggs , mix well and add milk
3] Sift together flour, salt and baking powder
4] Add to sugar and egg mixture
5] Add walnuts and vanilla
6] Bake in 5 small greased bread pans in 350 oven about 35 minutes

In case you are confused, Dale [my wife] is Nena and her mother is Freda or Nana. She (Nana)passed away 10 years ago and I am copying all of her recipe's from the back of envelopes, slips of paper etc. Onto 4x6 cards with her picture on them. We also have recipe's from Dale's Great Grandmothers, also with photo's. Neat project and not to bad for an old submarine sailor turned cop, turned contractor. Did I tell you I also bake pies?

It is 10 hours into the New Year and I am still keeping all of my resolutions. I have much more to say but I have to keep one of my resolutions alive by going down and signing up for painting lessons. Have a great 2005 from all of us!!