Tag Archives: puppies

Evil Females, a photo essay

I have a routine every morning. It involves dog kibble, coffee and things most folks do. I have coffee while reading through my push feeds, checking blogs, email, and all the rest.

Usually one of the dogs wants poodle time, and that’s fine. I can cuddle up with one while I go through the morning events. I moved on to getting some posts scheduled and forging ahead on Lisa Burton Radio stuff. That’s when Otto showed up and wanted to poodle it.

I let him get up, but Frankie was being crazy. He wanted to cuddle with Dad, and she wanted to eat his face.

BulldogYeah, it’s a bit blurry, but that’s because she was insane. She finally jumped up here too, and that’s a bit crowded.

Otto got squeezed out to the footstool.

BulldogYou can see the distress in his face. He was the one who wanted the poodle time, and Frankie just wedged her butt inside and pushed him out.

Not to be outdone, he decided to crawl up the arm of my chair, and around the back of my neck. This is what is referred to when someone talks about bulldog determination.

BulldogOtto had some major back problems this summer, and he’s feeling great now. I didn’t want him to fall and hurt himself again, so I left. I moved over to the couch.

Both dogs jumped down and jumped up beside me on the couch. Okay fine, right?

No, Frankie kept trying to eat Otto’s face and being crazy. I moved back to my chair. Otto gave up.

BulldogOh, but let’s zoom that image out a bit shall we? Where is Frankie?

BulldogShe’s sound asleep in the favorite poodle spot. Bulldog determination indeed. I should mention that she’s about a third his size too.

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A change in plans

Today, I was supposed to knock out a couple of my beta reports in anticipation of finishing tomorrow. We also wanted to go to town together. We had a generic list like most weekends. The other idea was to maybe have beer and pizza tonight.

That isn't what happened. Some good, some not good.

Otto woke up in the middle of the night and sat alone in the bathroom. I discovered him when I had to pee about 3:30. This isn't like him. The girls got up when I moved around, and this means everyone has to go outside.

Otto went to the bathroom too, and I thought maybe that's what he needed. At dawn, he seemed to be pretty sore and depressed. He refused to eat or drink.

My wife decided to do her grocery shopping and we could assess how he felt when she got home.

I decided to tackle my beta edits in force. I did more than I intended, because they changed my wife's shift again, and now she's off tomorrow. I only have one left to work through, and it will take a couple of hours. This is the good part.

Our veterinarian is open seven days per week. This saves us from going to one of those emergency centers. Of course we had to take the puppies too.

Turns out Otto ate more of those pecans than we thought. One X-ray, a pancreatitis test, and an office visit later, and he has an impaction. The doctor showed us the X-ray. It's all the way at the end, and she is certain it will pass. The impaction is causing pain, because he was born with two fused vertebra and another one that is half sized. This is a result of breeding for the bulldog's curly tail.

She gave us some pain killers to give him, and said after they kick in to take him for a walk. Also to try giving him water. He refused water, but went for some chicken noodle soup. He managed a mediocre poop when we walked him.

The doctor said he's going to have pain problems when he's older and to keep an eye on him. Never one to take something at face value, I did some research of my own. It says if your bulldog reaches nine months without a problem, he probably isn't going to have one. It also said the spine deformaties are more common in screw tailed breeds and aren't usually an issue.

I, on the other hand still can't keep food inside for more than an hour. I feel fine otherwise.

The puppies were pretty popular at the vets, and they got free bandanas out of the deal.

Some good stuff, my beta edits moved forward more than I thought. I may not get to the final one this weekend, and completion was the main goal. I'll take what I can get and be happy with it.

I think we're going to ban pecans from our house. All my dogs liked nuts and never had any problems before. They weren't given unsupervised access to all they could eat, including the shells.

We have tickets to Wonder Woman tomorrow, and even have someone who can watch the puppies. It may be all the date-night we can muster. Tonight, we're watching John Wick 2 on blu ray. It isn't date night, but it's the best we can manage.

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Trying to catch up

I had a doctor's appointment this morning that interfered with any idea of doing edits. I swear I'm not procrastinating, and intend to get with the program this weekend.

This led to starting my catch up work. I read the blogs I missed. Tried to work through Facebook, that sort of thing.

My appointment was to renew my blood pressure medication. They congratulated me for losing some weight, and I burst out laughing. Skipping all food for 48 hours and spending that much time in the bathroom will do that to you. My blood pressure is great, but they want me to try getting more potassium. I have no idea what that means or why. Hopefully it means eat more hotdogs or drink more beer.

I tried to hurry, I really did, because the dogs were unsupervised.

When I walked in there were pecans all chewed up on the dining room carpet. You couldn't help laughing. All three of them, Otto included, ran to meet me with a pecan in their mouths. Their little butts were just wiggling.

Many of the nuts were cracked and the nut meat was devoured. I blamed Otto, because I didn't think the girls could pull it off. When Old What's Her Face showed up she tossed them each one, and by golly the girls cracked them open like champs.

This small gunny sack of pecans has been on the floor of the pantry for about ten years. It isn't really a loss of any kind. I suspect we could have a pooping problem in our future, but after the week I already had, I guess I'm primed for it.

I started roughing out a post I'm supposed to contribute to another blog. It has bones, but needs fleshed out. I used my Apple Pencil to do some photo manipulation to accompany the post. I'll probably deliver it next week sometime. Baby steps, but they count.

Honestly, I'm in a pretty good position to get some things done. We're going to hang out together tomorrow, and I'd like to see either Pirates, Wonder Woman, or in distant third The Mummy.

I have the house to myself Sunday, and want to finish those edits. I may get a small portion of it done tomorrow to make Sunday more of a sure thing.

I'm still trying to play it safe around food, but braved a few scrambled eggs today with my fresh morels in them. Made me run for the bathroom before I could eat them all. I finished, after I finished, if you know what I mean. I think that will be all I try today.

Wouldn't it be poetic if getting more potassium means I'm supposed to eat those pecans, and the puppies knew it all along?

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Camping, mushrooms, bulldogs

We just rolled in from our first 2017 camping trip. We left mid-day friday, because setting up in the dark sucks. Here’s Otto enjoying the sunset while dad enjoys a toddy.

I should probably crop this one down and save it somewhere. He almost glows in that afternoon sun. I didn’t get good pictures of the girls. They move around a lot, and brindle colors are like camouflage in the forest.

The next morning, the weather changed. It rained almost all day Saturday. Otto decided to rest his big, heavy, head on the table while I had coffee.

The plan was to hunt morels, my favorite mushroom. I really had no idea when to go after the goofy winter we had. We went a week later last year, and were almost too late.

Campgrounds have to be booked well in advance, and we reserved our site in January. I told Old What’s Her Face, we were going come Hell or high water. Turns out high water wasn’t too far off. The Payette river is always a violent white river, but the waves were as high as the pavement as we drove by this time.

My wife was cold all day, and decided to stay at camp. It turned out later that she must have gotten some kind of bug. She was thrilled to get some down time for reading though, so that’s a win for her.

I headed out on my own, and went directly to my best spot. I admit, I was starting to have some doubts about my chances about halfway there.

Landmark summit was white with snow. My spot is down the other side, so I went there anyway. I got lucky, because it was well below the snow line.

This isn’t to say the hunting was any good. I managed very few, but in true form; find one and there is always more than one. I gathered six big ones at one point.

When you hunt morels, you walk very slowly and look down. They aren’t colorful like Easter eggs, and I’ve even found them between my feet before. This method of hunting is why I nearly stepped on an elk calf hiding in the deadfall.

Let me tell you, when you’re all alone, in bear country, and something the size of a small pony jumps up under your feet, it wakes you right up.

False, or snow morels were out in abundance. These look almost brainlike, and vary from tennis ball to softball in size. You don’t eat this kind. There are at least three in this photo, and even they are hard to spot.

I’ve had times when I could fill coolers with good morels, but it’s been a few years. This year, I managed about half of one net bag. I have enough for a couple of nice steak toppings, or a couple of outstanding omelettes, but that’s it.

I heard they were finding them by the truckload out of Idaho City. That’s where the big fires were last summer. I just like the area we went. I like camping there, I like the mountains. I can always find a few this time of year, but I may have to make a day trip to Idaho City to keep my supply up.

Mushrooms are really a mycelium that lives underground. Remember these are a fungus, and not a vegetable. The mycelium looks like a giant cobweb. To keep things simple, I’m going to call them roots.

The edible part of any mushroom is it’s reproduction attempt. It’s not a lot different than an apple in that regard. Morels have one strange habit that a hunter can take advantage of. They invest a lot of time growing in a particular piece of ground. When that ground is damaged somehow, they panic and send up more mushrooms in an attempt to reproduce as their last act on earth. I think they’re drama queens, because the underground system can be huge, and there is one honey mushroom in Oregon that’s documented as covering several counties. Still, their strange habit is a bonus for a hunter.

Fire is the big one that everyone knows about. Deadfall trees do the same thing, and that’s where I look. I’ve found them down in the root balls before, but they’re usually ten plus feet from there. Remember this root system is pretty big. Someone blades a dirt road, I look there too. A woodcutter gets stuck, or leaves deep tire ruts in the woods, same thing. I spotted this little beauty at a deadfall.

This one appears to be a yellow morel. I also found black ones, and few of the little grey fire morels. They’re all good eating, and I wasn’t picky. I mentioned my stretchy net bag a few paragraphs ago. This is me attempting to be a good steward of the resource. Mushrooms don’t have seeds, they have spores, and distributing them is the goal of the fruit. I carry a net bag in hopes that if they are dropping spores, I will leave those spores on the forest floor.

Otto and I went on a couple of big walks through the campground when I got home. He did his “bulldog ambassador to the world” routine, and met quite a few people and dogs. He absolutely loves everyone. It was fun meeting another bulldog in camp. She was white, and had on a cute little raincoat. It was raining, so I didn’t get a picture of them.

I don’t want the girls to get left out, but I didn’t get a good photo. Here is some kind of bulldog version of tug-o-war using a stick. They might call it push-o-war, since they’re backwards.

I hope all of you had a great weekend.

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Working on my edits

I took a more leisurely approach getting to the writing cabin today. Puppies decided to wake up at 4:00 am, and they were hungry. After feeding and walking them, I went back to bed and all of them crawled in with me.

Bulldogs apparently don't have any concept of personal space. Otto was the best of the three, because he was happy to conk back out. After repeated attempts to keep tongues out of my nostrils, and noses out of my armpit, the puppies went back to sleep.

The writing cabin was a cold quiet place this morning. Lisa* is absent for a few weeks. She is hanging out with Sean Harrington and working on promotional posters for The Enhanced League, and The Yak Guy Project. I found detailed instructions for everything from making coffee to feeding her pet rabbit, Bunny.

I dragged my feet taking care of everything. Editing of any kind is not my favorite thing, and I knew what waited for me in my office.

He glared at me with inky black eyes. It was a look you might see at the end of your life, like when a great white shark bears down upon you. His black beak aimed my direction and followed me to my desk. I took a seat and opened the files I would need.

Doubt, the raven, hopped off his perch and glided to my desk. I paused, then opened the window in hopes he would leave for the day. He looked at me like he was disappointed at my childish antics.

I don't speak raven, but they make the damndest collection of noises. They aren't crows, and this one is from Mt. Olympus. He's more than an ordinary raven. He paced across the desk while waving his head from side to side in disapproval. “Jugaluggg, blork. Jugaluggg, blork.”

I knew what he meant. He thinks it's all crap. I massaged and tweaked my manuscript while he voiced his disapproval.

Enhanced League got a lot of volunteers for beta reading. I hoped for four, and got seven. I only hope Yak Guy will get half that many when the time comes. Everyone had something wonderful to offer. Commas were deleted, then added back, before being deleted once more.

My UK readers had a tough time with this one, and I expected that. Baseball is popular in North and South America, and in major parts of Asia. Not so much in the UK. I struggled with how to make it accessible to everyone, but had to make an executive decision. Professional ball players would not realistically discuss the basics of the game. They are veterans of the sport, and some things are understood so well they would never come up. This means, I've limited my audience for this book. It makes Doubt happy. He feeds off my worries and concerns.

One of them suggested that some baseball cards might help keep track of everything. It's an outstanding and creative idea. I just don't think I can commission the artwork to support a .99¢ book.

I managed to get through four of the reports before the real world called me back. I'll need another day to get through the rest, but that won't be the end. I will have to re-read it one more time before I can send it to the formatter.

All in all, I feel pretty good about it.

* Lisa Burton is my robotic personal assistant, and the spokesmodel for my writing career.

***

In reality, it looked a lot like this. IPad Pro with its split screen; one side for Enhanced League, the other side for email. This is because some readers sent notes in an email along with the attachment. My old iPad has all the beta read documents on it. I do it this way, because the pro won't allow me to use the split screen on the same program. I can't open my word processor twice. Truth be told, I really like this setup, and I'm glad I kept my old iPad for this reason.

I had my phone there too, but used it to snap this picture, so you can't see it. The other important device is a cup of chicory in a weak attempt to hang on to my vacation.

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Baby Steps Today

If anyone is wondering where I've been, I've had company this weekend. My parents wanted to see the puppies while they are still puppies. It's kind of hard to argue with that. I love puppies myself. We spent most of our time visiting, and went for a nice dinner last night. My oldest son and his entire family decided to join us, my daughter, and her pseudo-boyfriend, so we had a big group. It's nice when we can all get together. It's kind of strange when you start hearing the term Great Grandma, or Great Grandpa.

Today, I dragged my generators to the garage door and started them up. I aimed the exhaust out into the driveway. My intention was to run them out of gas, but they're still going about six hours later. I put them away two years ago and haven't run them since. Old gas is the enemy of engines, and I expected more problems. We are taking the camper out next weekend, and this time we'll need the generators.

I swept out the garage, and intend to finish if the little buggers ever run out of fuel. Right now my dust pile is next to them, waiting for them to finish. Garage is looking pretty good though.

While waiting, I took my turn at puppy patrol. They're both pretty good, but Nyx sometimes doesn't remember to go to the door for a potty break. So far, so good today.

I also worked through my critiques. We met Tuesday, and I stashed them until my parents went home. Yak Guy is still a hit with the group. I need to figure out how to get all the non-fun parts finished.

I tried to talk my wife into stealing away this afternoon to see Pirates, but she wouldn't have it. I feel like I accomplished some reasonable things today.

Tomorrow is my flex day, so there is a small chance to work on the beta reads I received for The Enhanced League. It all depends on luck, but maybe I can move that project closer to completion.

What did you guys do this weekend? Hope you had a good one.

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An old reminder, enhanced by puppies

It's one of my favorite old sayings, and it came back to me in the comments of my last post. I've been whining about having too much to do. While blogland appreciates a good rant, they don't like it when it drifts into whiny territory.

I've been at this point before, and I will be there again no doubt. How do you eat an elephant?

Task lists are the elephant. I'll do what I can, when I can, and it will all get finished. It's a constant effort to remind myself there is no supervisor that's going to be upset with my progress. That's the paycheck world.

Even puppies know that a bunch of small efforts can add up. It took two weeks, but they slew the giant.

Note: Otto is fine. He is regressing to puppy mode and plays with the girls constantly now.

My wife and I are taking our mini vacation, and I'm not going to worry about this stuff. When I return, my tasks will still be waiting, and the elephant should be properly aged to make for fine dining.

I never mentioned it, because I thought I might play the “Where is Craig” game with you. It didn't work out so well when we went to Jackson, Wyoming, so I'll skip it. We are spending our holiday weekend in New Orleans. Neither of us have ever been there, and we're both pretty excited.

We don't have an agenda, but we are booked into the walking tour of New Orleans Voodoo one night. I hope to take some cool photos and maybe buy some fun stuff. We will no doubt find some beignets and some good seafood. I want to sneak a peek at their telephone book too. I constantly struggle to come up with decent character names, and this could be a great resource.

We're going to be staying relatively close to a site where a big shootout went down in The Playground. I'm tempted to take a cab and see how wrong I got it, but that might encroach onto my wife's plans. Some of the sites in Panama burned down years ago, but I might do a quick search for them too.

Come back tomorrow for Lisa Burton Radio. I'll get to play in the comments, and share it everywhere. After that, I'll update from the road, but it might be sporadic.

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