Category Archives: Prattlings

Buddy Wingo the Beagle

Beagle Tender

Marie was up before 4:00 this morning: low blood sugar.  Her ministrations in the kitchen roused Buddy Wingo (who was at that time sleeping in a crate in the kitchen) and of course he wanted to be up with Marie.  He adores Marie.  His vocalizations roused Josephine who decided to turn it into play time.  Before the Beagles may play they must go outside to pee.  Marie was not up to beagle herding yet, so I got up to help with that.  It was time for me to be up anyway.

When they got back in and Marie was ready to head back to bed, Josie decided she’d rather sleep some more too.  So Buddy joined me in the den while I tried to study.  After a while, since I was not willing to devote myself entirely to scratching his head (I was scratching, but also trying to read my Bible) he wandered off.

A half-hour later I went out to the kitchen for another mug of coffee and found Buddy curled up in his crate snoozing away.

He did raise his head as I approached, “Is it time for breakfast?”

“No.  Not breakfast time yet.  Not for another hour.”

“Oh.” and put his head back down.

He’s a good boy.

The Importance
of Word Order

There is a meme going around that illustrates the power of word placement very well: place the word “only” anywhere in the sentence and see how the meaning changes, yet it remains a proper sentence.  I won’t go through all of them, but let’s look at a few.

Only she told him that she loved him.
No one but her has told him of their love.

She only told him that she loved him.
Her profession of love for him was not sincere.

She told only him that she loved him.
She admitted her feelings to him but no one else.

Go ahead and work the rest out in your head and you’ll see that this sentence has many diverse meanings depending on where you place “only”.

And then there is this “rule” for descriptive words put out by the BBC: Continue reading The Importance
of Word Order

Telephone Telefollies

telephoneHave I mentioned lately how much I dislike the telephone?  This is not a phobia or even anxiety over the use of a phone, and not aimed at any version of the telecommunications device in particular.  It’s a dislike of the device in general.

Most people openly wonder about my sanity because they LOVE their telephones and spend 73.6% of their lives talking on their cell phone, or playing games on their smart phone, or checking Facebook or e-mail on their phone.  I don’t do any of the latter and avoid doing the former.  I just don’t like telephones.  Cell phones in particular.  My friends berate me for my refusal to join The Collective. Continue reading Telephone Telefollies

Fine, Just Fine

I inwardly cringe as I walk up the steps to the door.  Just inside I am met by a large fellow with a round, ruddy face.  He smiles broadly, “Well hey there, Doug, how you doing?” and sticks his hand out.  I wonder for a moment what would happen if I told him how I’m doing – but immediately dismiss that.  I’ve seen it before. I’d tell him about my concern and that would open the door to a rebuttal involving a litany of atrocities that make my ailments seem penny-ante indeed. So I shake his hand and say, “Fine, just fine.”  I deliberately leave off the expected, “and you?”  We will just leave that door closed.   We smile at one another and move in divergent directions.

This exchange is repeated a half-dozen times before I locate a spot that is the slack-water of the room where I can be present, but out of the way.  Not hiding, but not easily accessible either. Continue reading Fine, Just Fine

Here’s the Thing

The thing is that I don’t know enough about the thing to be able to quantify the thing well enough to discuss it accurately. Not that anyone cares about that; so many people spout off about so much without knowing much of anything about that thing.

Knowing what one was talking about would require the acquisition of facts. Who has time for that? Facts are anachronistic: relics from a bygone era when people cared about truth. No one cares about facts now. No one cares about truth now.  What matters now is how the thing makes you feel. Emotions are what rule our society now that The Enlightened have taken over.

Those who become indignant when The Enlightened burn homes and loot businesses of innocent bystanders because someone said or did something that upset The Enlightened, are knuckle-dragging bigots, bent on hauling society back into the caves of law, order, and morality.

And that’s the thing.

Josie’s Midnight Con

Doug
The dogtor is in

Josie Bean has taken it in her mind that if she gets me up anywhere between 2:00 am and 4:00 am and goes outside that I should give her a stick-treat.  We are in the habit of giving stick-treats to good dogs who go outside after they get up so they are “safe” to let run loose in the house.  But that is after We the People get up, not whenever they decide they need a snack.  She’s trying to con me: and it’s not the first time. Continue reading Josie’s Midnight Con

Aaannd … it’s DONE!

DougFor the past … oh … year or so, I’ve been working on a garden upgrade project.  The entire thing has been chronicled on Grit Magazine’s web site (list of links below).  Feel free to click through to go read all about it.  Make sure you have a beverage handy.  And a sandwich. They can take a while to read through, but they’re chock full of tips and advice on doing this.

Mega Garden Box

Today, Julian the Boxer and I completed this project.

Well, almost. Continue reading Aaannd … it’s DONE!

Trimmer Trippin’

I’ve been toying with the idea of replacing our string trimmer.  I have a 5 year Poulon Pro string trimmerold Poulon Pro that hasn’t needed anything more that the usual maintenance and upkeep until this year.  I have replaced several major parts on it lately and it continues to find new and inventive ways to avoid doing its job. I’ve considered taking it to a repair shop to have it “rebuilt” but with their labor rates and parts prices, replacing it will (most likely) be cheaper.  This is not an expensive trimmer.

I’ve been looking at string trimmers, comparing features, prices, and reviews. The reviews are the really amazing part.  In most cases users either love or hate all of them, regardless of brand, and the reviews are posted with the vast majority being either 4 and 5 stars or 1 star: very little in between.  I wonder if it’s really that black and white (you either get a good one or a bad one) or if people are getting too emotional in their reactions. Continue reading Trimmer Trippin’

Invasion Force

On Sunday I noticed Cochise shaking his head and scratching at his ears. I checked him out and found some gunk inside, which I removed with Q-tips. I made a note to stop into Tractor Supply and get some ear mite medication, just in case.

Cochises ears hurt
“My ears hurt!”

This morning I checked him again and found both ears swollen and hot. I decided to put a call in to Doctor Sandra and make an appointment: I assumed he’d scratched at his ears enough to cause an infection.

Before I could do that, during the morning poop patrol, I found what I believe to be the true source of his discomfort: a yellow jacket nest in the play yard. Continue reading Invasion Force

Tis a Humbling Thing

supermanIt is a humbling thing to be confronted with the fact that you are not Superman. You can no longer do things you once could … or rather, when you do them anyway you pay a hefty price. Stamina fades faster that it once did. And concepts you were confident you could handle turn out to be deeply distressing.

This is a big part of why I said “farewell” to my co-workers at the Humane Society of Jefferson County today. This was a bittersweet parting for I do need to rest and heal but I have enjoyed working with the animals, and the people, and I have learned a lot: especially in the realm of medical treatments and testing.

All of the staff members were (are) great to work with: patient while I was learning (for there is a great deal to learn) and helpful when I lagged behind. I found no petty rivalries here: they are a team of big-hearted, hard working people dedicated to providing a clean, safe environment for the animals in their care, and then finding them homes again. There are also some wonderful volunteers who step in to help and will work hard without pay. These volunteers deserve an extra helping of praise.

Bittersweet

On the one hand, I love working with the animals. Except maybe the rats: I still can’t say I enjoy the rats. As a youngster I wanted to be a veterinarian, but that was not to be. The medical side of this job has been as close to that as I’ve come. And I liked it. I like every one of the people who I worked with, and will miss them.

On the other hand, I will again have time to spend with the 6 dogs I have at home: some are pets, some are fosters. I’m supposed to be training the fosters, I will again have time to actually do that. These animals will be thrilled to NOT be cooped up and on their own all day, almost every day. I will also have the opportunity to let my abused body heal, and to catch up on the “office” work that has been piling up while I was occupied elsewhere.

So I’m moving on. Or stepping back or … maybe sideways. It’s hard to say yet. But I feel this is the right thing to do, even if it’s not easy.