August 29, 2009

Why my houndy cur-dog Smoke is on a leash


I was going to title this post "Hello Bobcat," but the photo is worse than terrible and everyone is going to think I made the whole thing up [weeps].

Anyhow — it was mid-morning and I walked out the back door with a couple of dogs [collies, thank heaven - if you can call them off sheep, you can call them off anything] and looking at me from maybe 30 feet up the hill, in plain sight next to a patch of buckthorn, was a full-grown bobcat.

The dogs, my ten year old siblings Gray and Twig, never gave any sign that they saw him or smelled him. He turned and stepped off with all deliberate bobcatness, the way they do, and I put the dogs in the cabin and got a camera.

The camera was in a camera bag and the camera bag was hanging behind a door, and the shot above was the only photo of maybe a dozen with anything like a bobcat in it. Next time the camera will be ready and I'll be all over that beast like Last of the Mohicans.

Meanwhile, in the cheap seats: "Bobcat! Bobcat incoming! Bobcat at two o'clock! Gah, why do we even bother." Bounce and the landshark would also like everyone to notice that the cabin needs log oil.

August 28, 2009

Now: Sunny and 108°F [color me gone]

Lord knows it's been worse — but I didn't feel good to begin with, dammit! So I'm taking my cough, my fever and some dogs and heading up the hill.

To the west, of course, it's a nightmare right now. Hold good thoughts for all who are threatened by the wildfires, and review your own disaster preparedness plans. Stay hydrated, stay cool and please, stay safe out there.

August 27, 2009

Take the poor dog home, you idiots!

From the NY Times article:
Paul, a pit bull that the Pennsylvania SPCA says was rescued Sunday from a dogfighting ring, was also on hand Thursday night.
Because nothing says "Michael Vick was cruel to pit bulls" like putting an injured, emaciated dog on display outside a football stadium.

Holy crap, Pennsylvania SPCA — if this is how you treat a suffering dog, I wouldn't trust you with a goldfish.

Outside: 107 °F; Luisa: 101. Pity Party!

That's me at the moment. No, I'm not home smoking a reefer, you sicko. It's a thermometer. [Photo from the CDC.] I feel terrible! Must blog!

Didn't go to work today [though the whole point, I'm told, is to infect as many students as possible], since I'm running a fever and really don't want any of the little people — quite a few of whom aren't little at all — to come down with whatever I have, which seems to be a garden variety thing and not the dreaded H1N1. Some dear child always wants to know how long it is from when you get sick with swine flu until you die. "Well, in your case..." God, I love middle school.

Fave education quote o' the moment, from the most excellent James Madison:
[A] general system of Education cannot be too much applauded. A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
Learned Institutions ought to be favorite objects with every free people. They throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty & dangerous encroachments on the public liberty [...] They multiply the educated individuals from among whom the people may elect a due portion of their public Agents of every description; more especially of those who are to frame the laws; by the perspicuity, the consistency, and the stability, as well as by the just & equal spirit of which the great social purposes are to be answered. [Letter to to W. T. Barry, August 4, 1822.]
Well, it's a grand theory, anyway. We do what we can.

August 3, 2009

And so to bed

Twig the Enforcer

Demon dog is swallowing Bounce whole, OMG...!

Bounce the matriarch and Smoky the yearling like to roughhouse. Bed, floor or front porch makes no difference. They both love a good game of Let's Roll Around and Chew on Each Other.

[As you can see, we're riding the red-eye express. Adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the blurry snapshots, no?]

Border collie Twig doesn't like roughhousing. "Fun" offends her puritan sensibilities, and by "fun" I mean "Smoky." She blames him for everything. Twig's purpose in life is to insert herself between Smoke and Bounce whenever they are playing and make Smoky by God stop. In fact, right this minute she just rushed into the kitchen to make those two behave themselves. Correction: to make Smoke behave himself, since, as I've said, everything is always his fault. If persuasion won't work, Twig isn't above resorting to threats of violence. It's a tough job, but at least it's work.

Much of what Smoke has learned about how to behave around other dogs [that is, to behave with more respect than he ever thought he had] he has learned from Twig.

No more tug-of-war — or else:

"You should put the camera down and say something to Twig. She's messing with me again, and it's having a bad effect on my self-esteem." Sorry, dude — you're on your own.

August 1, 2009

Bobby McFerrin For The Win

If you ever get a chance to see this man in concert, go and take friends and family with you. He's awesome, and the jazz singers and musicians who perform with him are wonderful. No gush, just fact: Bobby McFerrin is a terrific singer [jazz, opera, you name it], a fantastic musician and a hella great performer.

H/T: Boing Boing.

Cabin style

Basically unchanged since the 1920s, which is just how I like it. Click to embiggen.