Category Archives: Prattlings

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 starting with Part 1  (then click the [NEWER] links at the bottom of each episode to step through the entire series). Feel free to click that link to go read all about it, if you have any interest at all.  Make sure you have a beverage handy.  And a sandwich. The six parts posted so far 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.

Weirdness

My truck died this evening.

dead truckIt’s been running fine. At least it has since the last time I had it towed in and repaired.  That’s been a few weeks.  I moved it so I could mow the driveway (yes, I mow my driveway) and when I went to move it back it started up, started to move then went completely dead. I mean big blue rock dead. Nothing at all, not even an idiot light lit up.

To make this short(ish) I fixed it. But what I found to be wrong is SO bizarre I have no idea how it got that way and was running at all.

It is running now. I told my boss that I do plan to be at work tomorrow after all. But if I don’t make it, check for reports of alien spacecraft sightings! Continue reading Weirdness

For My Fellow Lexophiles (Lovers Of Words):

The following plays on words (puns) have been around the internet for some time.  I cannot claim any of them as original (mine), only collected here for your enjoyment.
 
  1. A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.
  2.  A will is a dead giveaway.
  3.  Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
  4.  A backward poet writes inverse.
  5.  In a democracy it’s your vote that counts; in feudalism, it’s your Count that votes.
  6.  A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion. Continue reading For My Fellow Lexophiles (Lovers Of Words):

The Puppygate Affair

gates beforeI’ve been working at the Humane Society of Jefferson County for just over 3 months.  In the puppy room we have 8 inside/outside runs.  There are chain link gates at either end and a sliding door in the wall that separates the inside from the outside.  Outside the gates are  7 feet or so tall, inside, two runs have tall walls and gates (for jumpers) the rest have 3 foot high walls and gates.  Two of these short runs had really sad gates on the inside.  The bottom rails rusted completely away and fell off, leaving an oddly shaped door that was augmented by zip-tieing cat crate doors to the chain link to fill the growing gap between door and post.

I award points to my fellow staffers for ingenuity, but these were difficult to open and only going to degrade further.  They did not present the best image of our facility either (they were ugly).  It’s time to do something more permanent about this.  So I took it upon myself to properly fix them. Continue reading The Puppygate Affair

Best Laid Plans

calendar, planning, routineThe Rescue group I work with (Steele Away Home) was supposed to have a medical day yesterday (Friday) so I requested to be off work that day — since I have two dogs that needed to be spayed or neutered.  But the mobile vet clinic would not start, so the medical day got rescheduled to next Thursday. I work Thursday — I’m off Monday and Wednesday.  Monday I’m supposed to take Marie’s car to the mechanicn place.

Today I asked around work if anyone would swap days with me. Bobby said he needed to be off Monday because his wife has a doctor’s appointment and he needs to stay home to take care of their 3 kids. That would complicate getting Marie’s car to the mechanic, but we could drop it off Sunday, so I agreed to the swap.  That means an extra trip into town and leaving her car in the parking lot overnight, but … it would be there so they could get started on it Monday morning.

When I got home there was a message on the answering machine. It was from Bobby. His wife’s appointment is Wednesday this week, not Monday as usual: the first time that’s ever happened! So he’d rather swap Wednesday for Thursday not Monday for Thursday.

I love it when things just work out!

toolbox basic

Tale of the Toolbox

Last week there was a fence/gate repair job that needed doing at work.  A co-worker, Bobby, and I were asked to take a look at it and see what we could do.  The boss had some parts that might help.  They even had a toolbox … of sorts.

Bobby had recently been assigned the task of cleaning out several junk drawers, finding all the tools and putting them into a donated toolbox, sorting through the rest: toss the detritus and sort the usable “stuff” into big plastic bags by category.  So our task now was  simpler.

However, the toolbox consisted of 3 hammers, a half-dozen badly abused screw drivers, and a pair of pliers.  We decided to bring tools from home and do the job the next day.  Bobby wasn’t there the next day, so I accomplished the job with the tools I brought.  All I was missing was a set of deep sockets (which I didn’t have but Bobby did) and a ratchet.  But I did the job with a crescent wrench.  The sockets do the job faster and with fewer bloody smears on the fencing, but a crescent wrench will do in a pinch.

I wanted to double the hinge at the top of the gate (which is at least 8 feet wide, maybe more) to keep it from twisting the hinge again.  I lacked one part and a couple of bolts to do that.  I picked up the hardware on my day off.  I also decided to assemble a usable toolbox.

My Toolbox History

Continue reading Tale of the Toolbox