greatbear: (big beard)
Despite still beating down a nasty cold that has lasted over a week so far and now has me blowing and sneezing up copious amounts of snot, escargot and what appears to be Cthulhu's offspring (Ia! Ia! CHOO!), I decided to start the day on a happier note, playing with the dogs, sharing my bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with them, and listening to Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 “Choral” in D minor, Op.125. It's been a good morning so far, well, other than the percussionist trying to make the music of the day "Beethoven's Nine Tympani" by trying to get all Metallica with his kettledrums in this particular performance (Wilhelm Furtwängler and the Philharmonia Orchestra, recorded in Switzerland, 1954). Still, despite the coughing, sneezing, bizarro weather and other issues, it was a nice way to start the day. In my morning online dalliances, I happened to come across a normally annoying captcha that was more in spirit with the flavor of the day.



Thanks, Google ReCaptcha, for making me feel criminally real.
greatbear: (walken)
Well, the snow has been falling since about 8pm, the wood stove is packed for the night, the house is toasty warm, generators on standby if needed, plenty of food is in in the house, two dogs are with me in bed with one snoring under the covers. The house is nearly silent, the only sound other than breathing pups is the tiny fan in the laptop. It is practically the pure essence of comfy cozy warm fuzzies. But what is wrong with this idyllic scene? There is no Jeff. Sadly, he took off right as the storm arrived to stay in a hotel close to the hospital where he works in order to be there in the morning. He's considered essential personnel, so he gets no snow days. While I am not exactly thrilled by this situation as I'd rather have him home and part of this cozy mayhem, he is safe where he is, does not have to drive to get to work, and has everything he needs close by. He will likely stay until Friday and return after work if all goes well.

Tomorrow, after the snow finally settles down, I will attack the walkways and driveways with the snowblower, which I gassed up and got ready earlier today. I will then send By-Tor and the Snow Dog out into the fluffy stuff, where they will undoubtedly have a blast like they did in the last snowfall. I'm hoping Jeff doesn't have a lot going on the next couple days and he can come home Friday and have a relaxing weekend.
greatbear: (forearms)
As everyone seems to know, a lot of snow fell here recently, and I waited until the next day (Wednesday) to hobble out of the house to the garage, fire up the snowblower and have at it. It wasn't a huge snow, only about 6-7 inches. Anyhow, since my back is in absolutely no shape to even touch a snow shovel, mostly hanging from the handles of the big, self-propelled snowblower is fairly easy, and I have to say, sending a rooster tail of snow high into the air that blots out the sun in my general vicinity is kinda fun. It does, however, fly back at me quite a bit, and after about an hour I pretty much look like the abominable snowman by the time I'm done. I park the thing in the garage, trudge back into the house where I strip myself of my snow-covered outerwear, boots and whatnot and otherwise dry off. While I got most of the snow off of me, I didn't realize there was close to two inches on top of the geeky Mad Bomber hat I use to keep my big flappy ears warm. I set this in the kitchen sink to thaw out, and shook the copious icicles out of my beard. I relax a bit, sore and hurting from the exertion (which I still am as of this writing). I play with the various four-leggers in the house, including the stray cat that makes herself all-too-comfy here. A little while later, I head to the kitchen for a snack, and I notice a furrball on the kitchen counter. The damn cat is always jumping up, looking for anything she can to eat. I yell like I usually do to shoo her off. It was then I realized I was yelling at the hat I put in the sink earlier.

I had a good laugh at my own expense.

Bonus irony points: It was at this time the doorbell rang, it was UPS delivering one of my purchases. A new, black Milwaukee electrically heated jacket. That would've been nice to have on while doing the snow. Well, I know how my irony goes. I was wearing my old red version while slingin' snow. Take that, old irony monster.
greatbear: (forearms)
I've been digging through the archives stored in the great computers filling the not-so-hallowed halls of Mayhem finding old-ish pics of me to post on Facebook. You know, content-light meme-like prattle so popular among the hordes and such. Some denizens of the upright, hoary and stodgy Livejournal also partake, and, well, I find it easy to crosspost the same visuals with text appropriate for each venue.



Here I am with my wonderful dog Patches playing around in my living room around September of 2000. I really miss Patches, she was the most awesome companion for Mom and I, and she really understood me. There were days I was out of sorts, or things weren't going well, or I was sad or troubled. Patches was always there and knew how to make the day a bit easier to take. On good days, she would only add to the happiness in her own unique way. Every coming home from work was a tail-wagging, happy-barking love fest. So much unconditional love, but a sadly limited time to revel in it. She was a rescue, and she entered my life at 2 years old. She adjusted quickly and was a true family member. "Pet" almost seems condescending. She lived a happy 12 years with us, but the mere dozen years were far too short. Dogs are capable of such unconditional love and devotion, but it's so fleeting. It only means that every day needs to matter. Never deny your pet the love he or she so willingly gives. There will inevitably come a day when your companion is no longer with you, and, trust me, you lose a piece of your heart when they are gone. I get quite wistful every time I see a Dalmatian. I thought the effect would dim over time, and in the approximate ten years she's been gone, it's still a strong tug of the heartstrings. Even writing this entry, as run-on as it's become, had me reaching for the tissue on my desk.

All ears

Aug. 9th, 2013 03:28 pm
greatbear: (my ferengi ears)
My (not so, anymore) little Snickles is a Miniature Pinscher. Min Pins are the result of crossbreeding Dachshunds with Italian Greyhounds. The result is what appears to be a tiny Doberman. Of course, Snickles likes to think of himself as a full-on Doberman, complete with a Tasmanian Devil growl (it's hilarious at times) and a take-charge attitude. I have to remind him that he is really just a sausage dog on stilts. Nowhere can this be demonstrated better than with his big, wonderful ears.

IMG_1411


It is usually common practice to dock the tails and ears of Min Pins for whatever reason, I guess to give them that Dobe style. I see it as cruel, since the ears and tail of this dog are so expressive. Nothing beats the sight of a wagging tail, especially not an oscillating stub. As for the ears, da Snick and I are brothers from a different mother.

Yeah, I'm a dog intactivist I guess.

Edit: Don't let all this cute fool you. A few minutes ago he somehow managed to get hold of a ballpoint pen and chewed it to smithereens on the freshly cleaned living room carpeting. Yes, the carpeting is ruined now.
greatbear: (forearms)
Kodi's birthday is today. He's all of 8 years old. In dog years, that's 56. He's older than me and Jeff! My, how time flies.

Happy birthday to our yappy bundle of joy and hair!

IMG_1354

Ptwned!

Jul. 23rd, 2013 01:11 am
greatbear: (jeff and me)
My recent disappearance in these cyber parts was mainly due to me and Jeff taking a much-needed vacation. Per usual, we headed up to Provincetown for a little over a week's worth of rest, fun, sun, friends, eye candy and way too much good food. Arriving the Thursday afternoon prior to Bear Week, the two of us, along with the two pooches, set up our little campsite in the same location as last year. We immediately went out to our favorite carry-out eating spots and put together our meal after all the driving. It was an "official" start to our big vacation of the year. While not as long as last year (we took two weeks worth then), it was still plenty of time to enjoy ourselves. I always seem to say that we go to PTown "despite" Bear Week, a we don't bother signing up with any of the official goings-on put on by the Provincetown Bears, opting instead to do our own thing. We get to see our friends that normally live ten minutes or so from us but never see these days except in PTown, familiar faces from years before seem to be everywhere, and we get to meet interesting new people. No expectations, no stress (for the most part). Running into Armistead Maupin and John Waters on the streets, taking pictures with cast members of "Where the Bears Are", talking with recording and DJ folks, parties with friends, it's a different sort of world for a week. I even managed to get my increasingly creaky old ass on the dance floor. And the food, well, let's say not a day went by that we weren't smiling about having a great meal. It's all good, much needed, and always welcome.

Our good friends from Connecticut, whom we sadly only get to see this one time a year, were once again at the campground, along with not one, but two of their potbellied pigs as travel companions. They brought fresh eggs for us from their farm, which made for wonderful breakfasts. Jeff's trio of buddies were at the other end of the campground again, we kept running into them here and there. Weather on the Cape was much more sane than the heat wave to our west. We went to so many of our favorite galleries and shops, dragging home art and souvenirs as well as a couple boxes of electronic gear I picked up from the church tag sale for way too cheap. It was a challenge to get everything into the truck to bring home. We managed fine, we just had to open the rear doors slowly to catch stuff falling out as it shifted in traveling.

While it might seem this was an idyllic trip free of snags, like all good things there were clouds among the silver linings. PTown had been experiencing some manner of rain practically every day since early June, this resulted in a bumper crop of mosquitoes that rivaled some tropical climates. Lounging outside at the campground was doable with repellants and sprays, but we didn't do too much to speak of. Even parts of downtown were plagued with the bloodthirsty beasts, but it was a small distraction to all the goodness abounding. All the aforementioned good food didn't take long to overwhelm the wreckage that constitutes my lower digestive tract. Some of our plans had to be shuffled or skipped as I dealt with far too many trips to the bathroom. The janky wireless internet access I was getting at the home base of Mobile Mayhem made keeping up with the outside world sketchy at best, and downright frustrating at times. The campground lies at the fringe of 3G mobile data coverage, and the reliability/availability of the connection made my early days of dialup internet seem like fiber optic broadband. As such, I lost out on meeting up with some LJers and Facebookers. Service was better downtown, of course, but I didn't bring the laptop with me, and I wasn't going to be one of the many cellphone zombies wandering around the streets not watching where they're going, or Instagramming their meals, or posting Twitter and FB updates every two minutes. I find it so much better to pry myself away from constant online access, instead enjoying the moments. Honestly, I don't have that many years left, so I am making the best of the time while I can.

I also discovered that, as time goes on, I am taking far fewer photos than I used to. Yes, I dragged four cameras with me, but the SLR stayed in the bag, the waterproof Pentax I brought along had its battery conk out at the beach where I hoped to take pics of the dogs frolicking in the sea, my little Canon compact accumulated less than two dozen shots, while my cell phone camera probably had to most use of all. Honestly, I have no idea what's going on there. My interest in photography has fallen way off in recent years. Still, I have a few good shots that will service as nice reminders of our time. I guess I need to focus (heh) on bringing my hobbies with me more often.

We ended up breaking camp and hauling our asses outta town the following Friday. Since traffic heading on and off the Cape is legendary for long lines on the weekends, we've discovered it best to leave early on weekdays instead. While there were still two good days of beary goodness to be had, we needed to get to Pennslovakia in order to rest up and unpack the trailer on Friday evening in order to take it in for repairs on Saturday morning. We couldn't get the work done on it before vacation as we hoped due to parts availability issues. Luckily the damage caused by the fire in March was not bad enough to keep us from using the trailer for vacation, it was mostly cosmetic. I hauled the trailer up to the RV shop on Saturday, not before running right into the start of a vintage tractor parade in the town of Gratz, where the shop is located. I had to shoot ahead of the parade using side alley streets, once ahead of the vintage machinery, I got back on the main town road lined with people waiting for the tractors. I guess we should've waved or something. Once that was taken care of, we visited Jeff's mom at the nursing home and headed home, We had a Sunday in Maryland to ourselves, working in the gardens and the yard plus running errands. This Monday, of course, was back to the grind. At least we had our fun and are better for it.

I didn't promise pictures, but here's one of us on the breakwater in PTown. Gadzooks, I am looking older by the day.

IMG_1424


We are already making plans for next year.
greatbear: (forearms)
Here's a short guaranteed to tug at the heart strings like a kite in a gale force wind. Beautiful locale, gorgeous photography, perfect soundtrack, wardrobe and scenery spot on, and Oscar-worthy performances from the primaries. Not a single spoken word, but unnecessary anyway. A thousand words probably couldn't tell the story any better.

Did I mention it's only 30 seconds long?



I guess I didn't mention it's a dog food commercial either.
greatbear: (fucking painting trees)
Here's a rare glimpse behind the scenes at the underground bunker at La Casa Mayhem. What am I doing, you might ask? Well, once again I am directing the full power of my fully operational battle station awesome IT infrastructure to bear on an innocent old man in hopes of making him cry again. In other words, I am fixing and printing more family photos lost to the fire at Jeff's parents' place.



He has "officially" moved in today, getting his permits signed off. Jeff's phone rang this evening, announcing the number as originating from the landline rather than dad's cell, something that made us both smile. There are some relatively minor tasks that need tending there, railings for the stairs into the basement, walkways and landscaping, some of which I will help with this weekend. The trailer gets moved back to its storage space in the driveway so the yard can be repaired and grass planted in remaining areas. Right now it's raining, and the yard is pretty much a mud bog. This is typical during construction. By mid summer, the place should be looking mighty fine. Dad can finally begin to relax and start making the new house a home.

I spent a bit of a beautiful yesterday trudging around in a junkyard auto dismantling and recycling facility yesterday helping a friend collect parts for one of his cars that recently got wrecked. I managed to find a rare item, a compass/mini trip computer out of a 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible. This is the same JA body series as my '00 Stratus, and I had wanted to hack the computer into the Strat, as it was never offered as an option. Today I took some time to tear into the dash and wiring, splicing wires and modifying the dash to accept the computer. Success! I also lucked out in that the yard also had a section which had tractors and other outdoor equipment, and I found a steering wheel that I could adapt to my old Gravely garden tractor. The original wheel is still available from Gravely, but it goes for a downright silly $160. 12 bucks later I had a perfect replacement which also got installed today while I did yearly maintenance on the tractor. So, garage duties today were productive.

My aforementioned friend and I go way back, to the 6th grade. For years he had operated his own auto repair shop, but hard times as well as disability forced him to close down. I took a lot of the equipment off his hands and set it up here at Mayhem, and there's still more to get as I make room for it. Sadly, he's not going to be in the business anymore, even the relatively short walk through the junkyard wore him out. His health has never been stellar, at 6'8" and 400-something pounds, all that weight finally is taking a toll on his well-being. While he has tried to address some issues, old habits (and a healthy appetite) are hard to break, and the lack of income and job opportunities keep him from obtaining medical help that could help. He says he is not going to undergo surgery on his back that is the major issue. I am far from a glowing example of successful back surgery, and I am one of the many examples of people he knows that are no better if not worse off after surgery. Still, he could be better off losing the ample belly he's had ever since I've known him. I've suggested it many times with no success. I worry about his future.

A week ago Jeff and I roused the pooches before the crack of dawn and took a weekday trip to the beach. We wanted to get Snickles accustomed to crowds, walking, other pets and the beach. Well, we hit on all points but the last. As it turned out, Rehoboth beach no longer allows dogs on the beach or boardwalks between Memorial Day and Labor day, and we missed the opportunity. We could've taken a trip north to the state park where the dogs are welcome, but that is a pretty quiet area and we wanted immersion education for da Snick. We were disappointed, but rather than waste the two-and-a-half hour trip, we hung out downtown and walked the dogs while doing some shopping and eating. Snickles did pretty good once he got acclimated to the surroundings. He's naturally very friendly with people, and surprisingly good with kids. He barks loudly at anyone on a bicycle. Little does he know the next step in his preparation for a Big Gay Life with us will involve not only getting used to Jeff and I on bikes, but riding along as well. I got a new pannier carrier for my bike as well as a made-for-the-purpose pet carrier which attaches. Kodi has his front-mounted carrier on Jeff's bike, with mine being a full suspension bike the best I could do is a rear mount. I will soon be taking the little guy for rides in the neighborhood. If that is a success, he and the rest of us will be ready to ride through the streets of PTown together, where the dogs are certain to be rock stars. People got a kick out of Kodi riding with Jeff, a pair of pedaled pooches is certain to bring out the smiles of passerby. Not to mention hunk/babe magnets deluxe. ;-)
greatbear: (cirque du so gay)
Yesterday was not a good day for lil' Snickles. For his six month birthday he got taken to the local vet to be fixed and chipped. I felt bad for the poor guy. He seemed very proud of his dangly bits, and, truth be told, he's pretty well hung for a little dog. The energetic, alert pup I dropped off had become a sleepy wet rag when it was time to pick him up. I felt awful. Snickles was disoriented, confused and lethargic for the rest of the day. We had him close and kept an eye or two out for him, and he seemed to be okay, picking up a bit right before bedtime. Today he is just about back to his old self, complete with a couple attempts to hump my arm. He adjusted to having the big plastic lampshade over his head quite well, with only one moment of panic when he tried to hook his lower jaw under the collar and succeeded. I freed him, and he's been pretty clingy all day. Jeff has to work both today and tomorrow, so it is just me and the pooches, with Pinky the cat giggling at Snickles' Cone of Shame. I cut the grass at Mayhem Acres and did some yard cleaning between the rainfalls, otherwise being domestic and mucking around with the servers and automating more backups. With Jeff gone all day, I was also spinning lots of old records, taking advantage of a new phono cartridge I installed the other day. The pups don't mind as long as I don't terribly crank the decibels, and the air guitar only draws quizzical, cocked-head stares. Maybe it should be me with that cone.

Snickles needs to rock his Elizabethan collar for a few days while his tackle box heals up, in two weeks the two stitches come out. Now comes some much more intense interaction in order to train him. He hasn't quite gotten the knack of being housebroken, a point of frustration for me at times. He still makes mistakes and doesn't know how or why to make a signal that he needs to go out, despite being very observant of Kodi. He's only a pup still, and he is plainly a very smart dog, as we've both seen on many occasions. Kodi had "official" obedience training at PetSmart, a task that we actually enjoyed very much. Kodi didn't always seem to "get it" during the training either. In both his beginning and intermediate level trainings, there was a "final exam" that needed to be passed in order to actually pass the courses. Both me and Jeff had our doubts, but as out turns came up to demonstrate Kodi's newly acquired prowess, he totally floored us both and did everything perfectly. I hope Snickles does as good.
greatbear: (fucking painting trees)
I know I haven't been the best at being a good blogger around these heah parts, so you'll have to excuse me for being busy, confused, angry, happy, uptight and introspective lately, even if that might all be in the span of ten minutes. Things seem to change abruptly with little notice. So far, most of the news regarding Jeff's parents and the fire have been okay. The house was nothing but a hole in the ground by Sunday. Paperwork regarding the insurance and other technicalities have been pushed through, and funds are available to begin reconstruction. We are all still wracking our brains regarding the contents of the house, more obscure items are still brought up. The more of these bits make it to the list, the more funds will be available to replace said items. It's not easy doing this from a distance, yet it gets done somehow.

With everything going on both up in Pennsylvania as well as around here, our nerves have been run roughshod. Jeff and I have been frustrated and sniping at one another, but as the week progressed that has softened. I tend to lose my cool a bit too easily still, as my now-damaged smartphone can attest. After 20 minutes in a parking lot trying to get the GPS to work without success, and an inability to even google the address of my next destination to enter the details into the car's nav system and five reboots (four of them not my doing) I beat the thing senseless on the steering wheel and threw it onto the floor. As immersed into technology I've been for 40 years, it still can rub me the wrong way. After the day of running around I had come home for a much needed trip to the bathroom, the same phone with the now increasing black hole of pixels consuming the display was used to locate a replacement display, the parts ordered for less than 20 dollars and one problem resolved before leaving the bathroom ten minutes later. So, yeah, I love technology as much as I hate it, I guess.

The weather here at Mayhem Acres has been becoming more spring-like, and as such, I've been doing more things outside. The pile of mulch that was suddenly abandoned will be distributed this weekend. The grass will need its first cutting this weekend as well. However, not all has been work and worry either. We had tickets to see the Pink Floyd cover band called "Brit Floyd" at the Lyric opera house. This was a fantastic show, good enough to feel like we were seeing the real Pink at their prime. The next day we went to see the Baltimore Orioles play an incredible opening day game against the Minnesota Twins. And this Saturday we have tix for Les Miserables being performed in Baltimore as well. Jeff's dad had insisted we keep to our cultural and recreational outings despite everything that has been happening. Doing so has kept both of us from being completely unbearable.

The two pooches have kept us on our toes, as is to be expected. Snickles is still a bit laggard in becoming housebroken, but is learning. It's interesting to see him take cues from Kodi. One thing about Snickles is his increasing awareness. He will watch Kodi perform some task or trick and follow right behind doing it similarly. The two of them get into extremely noisy play sessions in the evenings, at times ruffling our nerves. Surprisingly, Snickles is just as comfortable sleeping in his (now too-small) crate as he is curled up with either Jeff, me, or the both of us, sleeping through the night. Snickles is a burrower, he prefers to tunnel under the blankets and sleep against us, where Kodi stays on the surface. Snickles puts out heat like a small nuclear reactor, he is nice to have with you on a cool night. His nose, however, is almost always a sub-Arctic cold zone, and will get shoved against bare flesh without warning. The strangest doggy temperature anomaly, however, is Snickles' feet. One moment they are as cold as his nose, a little while later they feel like very warm palms. And, yes, he feels no compunction at pressing all four chilly feet against bare flesh right after slithering his way under the covers in order to warm them up. At least they warm up in a minute or so. That nose takes forever. Last night after spending a good amount of time in the basement lab, I had come upstairs. Snickles, who was sleeping with Jeff let loose a fusillade of protective barking when I had turned on the bathroom light across the hall. It scared the crap out of me, since I had never heard him use that deep, authoritative bark before. For a split instant I didn't know what was going on. After the both of us came to our senses and I calmed little Snick down, I realized that he is becoming protective of his "pack." I was proud of my pint-sized Doberman.

I have a nice surprise prepared for Jeff's dad in a week. One thing I heard him lament a few times was the loss of family pictures in the fire. A number of photos of his parents and relatives as well as shots of the kids and grandkids. The area where these photos were displayed was completely incinerated. But back in 2007 we had gotten one of those digital photo frames for his Mom, and I had brought those photos here where I scanned them and loaded them into the frame. I found the frame totally covered in smoke damage, and I'm not sure there is any hope for it. However, I dug around in the miles and miles of pretty files in the 25+TB worth of storage and managed to find the original scan files from each and every photo. In fact, when I had been scanning those photos, I would sometimes find another pic inside the frame as I removed the prints for scanning. I scanned everything. While the resolution of the scans isn't the greatest, it's enough to make a reasonable reprint, and I can retouch some of the oldest ones. A couple shots in particular are ones he said he missed the most, and those are ones I am going to print and frame for him and give him for his upcoming birthday. As much as he has talked about those destroyed photos, I believe he misses them more than the house itself. I didn't say anything to him about the possibility of having the scans since I didn't want to get his hopes up. Finding those files made my day. I just have to get some fresh photo paper and some more frames. I plan on bringing him future prints when he is least expecting of them, and I plan on having some ready to surprise him once there are walls to hang them on.

Sometimes I absolutely love technology.
greatbear: (forearms)
Any time I hear or read "Istanbul", the auto-complete routine in my brain, scrambled as it is, adds "not Constantinople", then I am subjected to a half day-long earworm of said song by They Might Be Giants. I decided to share this time, here's the wonderful version starring Plucky Duck and the Tiny Toons.



Other news from around Mayhem Acres, Snickles continues his painfully long assimilation into family life here. It's at times a rocky road to ride, what with teething, chewing and barking that puppies are wont to do, but there are also those moments of starry-eyed schmoopiness that make it all worth it. I will write more in a State of the Pooch entry later on.

I am finally clearing out the long-neglected Lab of Mayhem of hundreds of pounds of obsolete and worthless electronic gear and other cruft, carrying this activity into the garage as well. Some of the stuff is being dismantled into the few remaining usable parts, the bulk is going into boxes to be taken to the recycling center. The lab itself is getting an overhaul as well, with some new tools and supplies obtained to make and repair stuff built with surface-mount components. I've also taken some of the reclaimed parts and cobbled them into usable items; an old fluorescent arm lamp, a salvaged DC fan and filters for a range hood became a soldering fume extractor, and ancient spectrum analyzer has been brought back to life with donated components, and a number of collected items have been finally installed and put to use. I want to get this all done before the weather breaks and I spend more time outside.

Health wise, I've noticed more healing of nerves in my legs and feeling returning to my feet in the last few months. I had resigned myself to never having normal feeling and abilities in my legs post-spine surgery, but I am not stumbling as often as I had been, and I can resolve temperatures better in my lower extremities. I might not have a future as an acrobat or b-boying, but anything is better than previous numbness.

I hope all is well with my fine readers this week. Stop in and chat a while!
greatbear: (scream)
"Mayhem" in a catch-all word to sort of describe some of the goings-on here at the ol' homestead. Silly, yes, at times, but often fitting. But "mayhem" is such a small word to use at times. Like from now on. Mayhem can't begin to describe daily life here. Not anymore. Hellish? Perhaps. An apocalypse? Pfft. The Four Horsemen are a mere carousel. Nine Circles of Hell? Dante probably saw an Olympian at an Audi dealership as inspiration. No, this is far, far worse. Black Sabbath, on their debut album, sang something close in their eponymous first track:

What is this that stands before me?

Figure in black which points at me

Turn around quick, and start to run

Find out I'm the chosen one...


What horror has befallen us? Is there any hope? Anyone?

Ooohh noooooo! )

Control

Mar. 28th, 2012 12:54 am
greatbear: (glasses)
A lot has been going on over here. Pictures have been taken, but I haven't been in much of a posting mood. Big changes in store for the weeks to come, I'll elaborate later (maybe).

I'm in one of those moods where I am avoiding almost all news, current events and, of course, politics. I truly detest large numbers of the human race. Seeing various crap and reading about it, not to mention directly experiencing it only makes it far worse. So, the shields are up, defenses ready and hopefully nothing will cross my tripwires.

And things like this to remember there is some good left in this world:



Amazing how much joy comes from a little wagging tail.
greatbear: (Default)
Our Kodi, he's so kute...



And he so krazy too.
greatbear: (Default)
Today is Kodi's birthday! He's all of 5 years old. He's a good pooch. We got him a cake with candles and everything. For a present, he got a trip to the vet and an update on all his vaccinations. I'd post pictures, but my computer is having none of it for some reason.

Happy Birthday Kodi!
greatbear: (Default)
Here's a cute little song by British transplant Cosmo Jarvis called, "Gay Pirates" that's guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Why am I posting this? Because it's my blog, and I'll post if I want to.



In other news, I fell asleep inside the MRI machine today while they studied my defective knee. This only extends the proof that I can fall asleep just about anywhere. I woke up craving something with bacon on or in it, the reason being is on the bottom floor corner of the medical professional building there is a deli. This deli is also connected on the interior of the building as well, and they often have their inside door open. The entire building will smell like bacon most days. This includes the ortho/sports medicine department that know me so well, the adjoining physical therapy outfit, and even all the way to the fourth floor operating rooms. Yes, you can have a medical procedure done while the room smells of food, rather than antiseptic and medicine and such. These are the areas and floors I've been on, I can assume the (mostly bacon) smell permeates the other floors as well. I almost never cease to bring this up with my doctors. The ones wearing yarmulkes and turbans, at that. That's me, being sacred and kosher and all. =D

Speaking of sleep, the other day I took an afternoon nap. Jeff has the new flannel sheets I got him for xmas on the bed, as well as several blankets, a comforter and a very old quilt made by his grandmother that is about as heavy as a lead x-ray shielding blanket. After a night with no sleep, a lousy morning of pain and discomfort, I finally felt that I could get some sleep, albeit during the day when I should be doing something constructive. Sure enough, once I pulled the 50 pounds of covers over me, I was comatose. I eventually woke up hours later, as warm as a freshly started nuclear reactor, numb from the sleep paralysis, completely at ease. Well, except for a need to hit the bathroom. I discover trying to move is even tougher than I thought, and find out the reason for this is while laying face down on my belly, both the cat and the dog stationed themselves on top of me as well. That had to be the soundest sleep I had in a long time. I had some strange dreams, but forgot them. Both Jeff and I have been recipients of the dual four-legged blankets. Now if I can only get the two of them to behave, if not actually like each other.

I've been keeping myself busy with all sorts of different things. I can't do anything requiring any lifting, contorting, or lots of standing. To that end I've been continuing to make flurries of little (and not so little) upgrades and repairs around the house and garage. LED upgrades to the kitchen lighting for the fixtures that are not on dimmers turned out well. For the dimmable fixtures, not so much. Dimmable fluorescent and LED retrofit lamps are a mixed bag. The problem is that LED and CFL lamps draw so little current compared to their incandescent counterparts, and do so in a very nonlinear manner, that most dimmers cannot provide a smoothly adjusted source of power to the fixtures. The lights flicker, flash or are impossible to set. I even bought a dimmer made especially for LED and CFL lamps and got the same result. Back to the drawing board.

While I've not been able to make use of the vast majority of tools and equipment while laid up, I've been taking the time to disassemble, clean and lube everything that has moving parts. This means anything from ratchets to power tools to the outdoor power equipment. I did most of the latter during the summer. The smaller stuff has been my undertaking usually in the evening when I need some quiet time. I've made it maybe through half of the stuff, and I've been at it for months. I knew I had a lot of tools and equipment, but interacting with it in this manner really makes me realize not only how much of the stuff I have, but how long I've been at the various endeavors that utilize them. A good majority of my tools and equipment are over 20 years old. Some are even older than me, being handed down to me or picked up at auctions, sales and such. I have thought about how much work I've done over the decades using those tools, and wonder what will become of them once I am no longer. I just hope that someone makes as good a use of them as I have.
greatbear: (Default)
Noms, the great equalizer.

Which of these does not belong?

NomsByFive


This was our scene at breakfast time this morning.
greatbear: (oh squee indeed)
That is, for anyone who has had a dog for a good, long time. Here is a downright wonderful little essay called "Why old dogs are the best dogs." Written by Gene Weingarten from the Warshnin Post (who is one of my favorite columnists when it comes to human interest stories), I think this short essay captures perfectly exactly what it is about dogs when they get older and, as he says, how we all can learn from them. This piece is spot on, and I dare someone to read this copy and not feel at least a little wistful. I know some of you reading this have lost a beloved pet recently (gentle wave @ [livejournal.com profile] dan4behr), and I think this little essay sums things up nicely why we feel close as we do to our pets, and perhaps this might give non-pet-owners some insight on our attachment.

The article is here. Also behind this cut in case the article vanishes. )
greatbear: (face)
Anyone who has kept up with my LJ, especially in the last six months, knows I have had more than my fair share of loss and tragedy. This past week was one that reversed the trend, thankfully. Jeff and I decided to go ahead and get ourselves a new puppy, especially since our encounter at the PA State Fair a while ago. We felt it was time to add to our little family again.

Introducing: Kodi!



Follow me for some more Kodi kuteness )

Jeff picked Kodi up from the breeder on Tuesday. I finally got to see them both on Friday evening. Kodi is about 10 weeks old, feisty, playful and suprisingly well behaved so far. Not to mention about 4 pounds of packed dynamic energy and cuteness.

Inevitably the comparisons with our dearly departed Bear are bound to crop up. While there is no replacing Bear, Kodi is not without some suprises, both intentional and unexpected. "Kodi" is short for Kodiak. His markings and colors in many ways are very similar, though Kodi has more black in his fur on his back. He has similar mannerisms. The most unexpected surprise came when Jeff picked him up. Kodi came from the same breeding pair as did Bear.

Kodi is Bear's brother.

I hope all three of us have a nice long life together.

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Phil

December 2016

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