French police wouldn’t give me no peace

Bubba mixed it up with Loki yesterday. It was the worst fight he’s been in. They locked on each other and weren’t giving in. The Brother had Loki I think by the scruff or maybe in a barrel hug and I had Bubba by his haunches and I was pulling away. I thought Bubba was ok, but he just continues to get his ass kicked. His face is punctured. He’s still on antibiotics from the asskicking Rita handed him, so it’s just another day at the farm. He was actually really protective when they first got here and he really didn’t back off that position too much. Loki was a little pissed off as he’s a regular at this bar and grill. I think it was a case of “Don’t mess with my Dad” as Brother was sitting with Loki and Bubba came up to them. It’s funny since the worst ass kicking Beau ever got was at the hands of Xica over The Brother’s attentions.

We don’t have a lot of rules here. Rule One, no playing in my bed.

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I have a sneaking suspicion that rule is not being followed.

I spent a goodly portion of the day sanding down the siding. The Farm needs a paint job.

Before:

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Wood destroying pests have left ridges in the wood.

After:

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Black and Decker rules all. I’m also working on the Japanese Maple stump. I had this tree cut down last year. Somebody came up to Jesus the tree cutter dude and complained that he couldn’t do it. Jesus, who speaks pretty good English no comprende what they wanted and the tree came down dove nest and all. I later learned the doves were the dumb blondes of the bird world. It was probably the crazy lady who incidentally got hauled off on a 5150 about two weeks ago. Glass houses, dear. Anyway, the damned termites didn’t eat that so I’m having to use Grants Stump Kill. It involved drilling these 1 inch holes in the stump and then putting this stuff into it.

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And last but not least. This dude:

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I didn’t sand over there and just let him be. Don’t know what he does or doesn’t eat, but he didn’t look like a termite, so I figured he could live.

The intergalactic laxative will get you from here to there

I’ve been busy taking care of just general house stuff today. As a matter of fact, I didn’t start a car today. It takes the better part of two hours to clean the slate here. I think there’s around a 750 square feet of it, every entrance is slated. That way when winter rolls around and muddy paws come in and out, they don’t track on the carpet. Unfortunately, with the back yard not being landscaped, all the dogs do is turn the dirt to powder, kick the powder up and it ultimately blows into the house. So it takes a sweeping then a scrubbing and then a second mopping to clean those floors. I can vacuum the rest of the house in a quarter of the time. Today on the third pass, I thought of another fatality of this bullshit. Our housekeepers. Admit it, you had one. So did I. Mine got the ax in October 2006. I miss her and all her sisters and cousins that used to come to my house and clean it terribly. Some day I’d like to bring her back. She was so sweet to Beauregard. She brought him treats, rubbed his ears and called him mi’ ja, he loved when she came. She would love Rita and Bubba. I also did some organizing of the online photographs. What I noticed was the improvement in Rita. Look at this poor little skinny thing.

8-10rita-woodpile.JPGAnd here she is yesterday.8-10-rita-yesterday.JPG A marked improvement. Of course looking at those pictures took me back through all of the pictures of Beauregard, which was bound to happen. I opened my box of personal stuff that the Amateur Manager sent me a week after he RIF’ed me…assklown. There was a board at our office where we posted pictures of our pets. Beauregard’s picture was up there, along with my favorite picture of Rita and Beau wrassling. Many employees have left there and the pictures of their pets remain, but apparently Beau’s didn’t, it was stuffed in my box. I had left it there. I hope someone there who cares about me put it in there, knowing that he was now gone, rather than the Amateur Manager continuing his asshat behavior. Anyway, back to the photo album, I could not believe the pictures I had of Beau just a month before he got sick. It really was amazing how fast that dog faded away. I still cry about him, almost daily. And I would have never written that if I thought those shit stains in Santa Ana were still monitoring this.

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Yeah, he matched the couch, and I’m just about ready to finally wash that blanket that he slept on. It doesn’t really smell like him any more.

And the Kangaroo said WTF mate?

Sonofabun was over here the other night to meet Bubba. Bubba was completely terrorized by a man coming into the house.

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Or maybe it was his fuzzy slippers. Anyway, Sonofabun brought rawhide and any other dog would have relished the opportunity to meet the Rawhide God. Not Bubba. I told Sonofabun to just give him some space, which he did. Then Bubba went out into the back yard and let out a plaintive wail. It was the funniest thing and we both laughed at the poor boy. They ended up friends but it really was a carefully constructed detente. While he was there Sonofabun, the Realtor noticed the dead apricot tree and suggested that I deal with it before it falls on the house. It didn’t fall during those storms, I protested. He proceeded to push on the tree (in the direction of the house) to prove that I needed to deal with it. Well, tonight I pushed it away from the house.

8-10-fallen-tree.JPG Go ahead a click on it, it’ll blow up. And then I inspected the stump.

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And there were these weird little worm things, which I assume are termites, but if somebody really knew that would be great. And if you’re afraid of weird little worm things, don’t click this next thumbnail.

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After that, you know the Wine Dog was drinking. Freemark Abbey’s 2003 Bootleg Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby color, plums and cherries on the aroma. Sweet dark cherries and tobacco on the palette. Ted says eucalyptus, but I’m not feeling that. Anyway a great little wine at $45 a bottle, 20% less for the Wine Dog…club membership has its privileges.

Put the lime in the coconut, and call me in the morning

It goes boom!

My goodness, where to start on something like this? I would say something like I told you so, but that would be smug. How long do you think this can go on with exploding flower pots? I wonder what kind of stomach Santa Ana’s has for dead people.

Say cheese

At what point does the bullshit stop? This is enough to make my head blow up. And y’all think this makes you closer to God? Bet not. As a matter of fact, I think it puts you out with the moneychangers. Wonder what was on the note McSame stuck between the Stilton and the Gruyere.

La porte s’il vous plaît

I hope I’m not the canary in the pile of cow crap crowing, but I think I finally got the damned French Door fixed. I was afraid to start this part of the project because if I blew it the house would be wide open and I would be heading off to work. So since that nasty having to go to work problem has been solved, I thought I’d dicker with the door today. It didn’t start off properly. I had the wrong sized screws. I took the hinge off and went down to the hardware store and got the right sized screws. The contractor who was helping me called back after the last debacle and said “try chiseling out some wood from under the top hinge and then get some longer screws and pull it right into the house”. I did and it worked. I’m going to install the dead bolt finally…if some cow doesn’t come along and crap on my head.

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Li’l Miss Pissypants

My unemployment has been a boon to the little red dog. She went from spending eleven hours a day by herself to have me up her ass home more often than not. Before, she would piss in my dining room easily every other day. If it was cool enough to crate her, she’d even piss in her crate. She knew she wasn’t supposed to, I guess she just couldn’t help herself. Sometimes it would be when I went to the gym and then she’d be fine while I was at work. I really think she would get too fired up with squirrel tv and try and mark the dining room as hers. Now, I’m wearing her out. When I come home I find her asleep. As a matter of fact, if I can’t find her at all, she’s probably asleep in the yard, on the couch or in my bed. All are acceptable sleeping spots. I took her for her walk around 10am this morning. I was running a little late as I was busy doing behind the scenes work on this page and my other website. I got to the gym around 8:30 and her walk ended up around 10am. What I noticed was this little dog is walking perfectly at heel. She sits perfectly and she’s even learned the turns she has to do for the Obedience Ring. She’s got the worst down in the whole world.

Down!
Really?
Down!
Really?
Down!
Are you sure you want me to down? I know you’ve said it three times now, but before I lay down, I really want to be sure that’s what you want.
Rita! Lay the hell down!
OK, I’m going to lay down.

I’ve been taking her with me more places trying to get her more socialized. She’s doing great. The hardware store is a favorite adventure. She stands quietly while I pick out what I need, she’s kind to children and doesn’t jump up on the counter for treats like every other dog I’ve owned. I can’t wait to get her into the Novice 1 class in September.

I got good lemonade, dixie cups all flavors and push ups too

I think we have a PBE business opportunity! We got Skip selling $30 Missile Pops in Los Altos Hills, Grooks is picking up the slack in the Capital Corridor with the Govenator Special $21 Missile Pops, I’m sure I can get a truck going out here in Claycord. Anybody want the the Pissburg route? You can sell nickel bags along with your $19 Missile Pops.

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I never used to give a crap about growing things. Mostly because the only thing I could grow was strangely roses. I’ve had some great roses over the years. Then I moved into that house last year with the grapefruit tree and two orange trees. I started making juice and having a grapefruit every morning. Now I’ve got my little garden. I don’t think a damned pepper came up, which pisses me off, since I love peppers. I did, however, do just fine with lettuce. My little salad with my own little pesticide free lettuce.

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Talking Retro

What’s with the yogurt? First we’re seeing Paris Hilton crowd hanging out at Pinkberry.

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Then a new yocup opened up at 101 Spear. This isn’t your 80’s frozen yogurt, this stuff has active cultures and the bite of real yogurt…and it’s pretty damned good. Like I have any business eating the stuff. Then today they had a Wellness Fair at the Embarcadero Center. As I was walking out I noticed a new yogen früz (Dude, I totally made an umlaut!) The guy from I think Survivor is trying to open a Red Mango in SF but North Beach has a moratorium on chains. So that guy’s dying in the Planning Department somewhere. Just as bizarre as the $4 cup of coffee, we now have the resurgence of frozen yogurt. Only I will say, it’s much better than it was. Now that I typed that sentence I realized it’s ok to pay $4.00 for a cup of coffee, but boy do we get pissed of at paying $4.00 for a gallon of gasoline.

BK Broiler

I was reminded today that in addition to the commissions and vacations that weren’t paid, the notary checks weren’t paid by Alliance Title Company either. I found that and the Labor Commission lawsuit, suspiciously missing from the petition. Now, John, Patty, I know your attorneys know that those funds are due and I know they know about the lawsuit. How? My spiders caught your attorneys visiting me. It was good to see them. Maybe they should have let me help with the petition. The folks at PBE seem to know more about what you do than you do.

And the best that you can hope for is to die with your boots on

Let’s start off with a google keywords of the weak week.

  • who bought world savings (Wachovia, and I’m sure they’ve fired whoever it was that made THAT decision)
  • kettlebell skwigg (I know kettlebells and I know skwigg)
  • alliance title company lawsuits (which one?)
  • robert parker sucks (maybe, but he’s just a fan of the fruit bomb wines. I like the elegance of wine)
  • after a dog has puppies is there suppose to be a green string hanging out of her? (No)
  • first american title sucks (Ouch mon)
  • john harritt
  • doberman for cheap prices in concord (If you did this google search you don’t deserve a Doberman, besides you’re an idiot and the poor dog will just end up dumped the minute something goes sideways)
  • jocelyn saenz escrow officer released from jail (didn’t know that, but I figured she’d post bail)
  • Alliance title bankruptcy (still waiting for the petition)

Riding

Hardcore got her nose rapped with a newspaper for dragging me over Mt. Diablo last weekend. Mr. Hardcore didn’t feel I had enough cycling base to do that ride. He’s semi pro so he’d know. So I could go with them to the mountain, I just couldn’t go OVER the mountain yesterday. Fair enough. I’m a little pissed that the mountain beat me so bad, but I did make it over it and I would make it over it again and again until I was really good at it. His suggestion long flat with pick ups for a while. So I went back around the way we came. It made for a 40 mile ride, so I shouldn’t complain. I’m getting better on the new bike. It’s not as scary as it was the first couple of weeks I had it. I took it in to the shop to have the gears adjusted and basically a maintenance done. I don’t know what I’m doing and need it gone over before something gives out that shouldn’t and I didn’t notice. Kind of like letting your car go with a weird noise only to find out your Magillecuddy is now shot and it’s $1500 to fix it. Better safe than sorry. The guys looked at the bike and said “Nice bike”. Everybody that knows bikes and sees that says that. I dumbed into the right choice.

The City

I got a letter from the City about my weeds a couple of weeks ago. Weeds are weird. You can take a weed whacker to them and come back 15 minutes later and all these things are sticking up. Brother had this brilliant idea about using a fork to loosen up the soil and then just pull the weeds out. FYI, it didn’t work. The soil is so hard here that I couldn’t drive it in far enough to turn the weeds out. I ran some water, but with the water problem, it didn’t feel right watering weeds so I could pull them. So I hit it with the weed whacker once last week and twice yesterday. They’re finally down enough to get the City off my ass. I found out from the neighbor yesterday that the lady two houses down calls the City on everyone. That would be the lady who is amongst other things bi-polar and probably pschizo too. She gets a ride from the County every couple of months and a time out at a facility. Why would you want to draw attention to yourself by calling in all the neighbors on their houses? That’s crazy.

Beautiful Mess

As everyone knows, I take requests. This came in via the Radical today.

Telecommunication tower in India

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Now, I can’t verify that it’s actually India, that’s what was represented, I’m sure our crack team of gentle readers can help get to the bottom of it, but for now, I’m going with India. Truth be told, I don’t have anything against India. As a matter of fact, I’ve heard that once you’re out of the cities, it’s an amazing place. I’d love for every country including our own to be prosperous and for everyone to be fed and educated and healthy. I have a friend who’s an entrepreneur. He’s got business in Southeast Asia and China. He also has a 100 years rule. You put one child to work, you beat one worker, you cut one corner, you break one rule in his contract and his company won’t do business with you for 100 years. Period. His business is there because he imports Goji berries and papayas and shit you can’t get here and have to get there. Not because he wants cheap labor. I don’t have a problem with that at all. My problem is sending our jobs away to third world countries because corporations don’t have to abide by the standards of our country.

I still have more rant in me from yesterday, but it’s time for some dog pictures…except the only good one I got of Rita, she’s standing over a silhouetted pile of dog crap. Lucky for me, the doves from last year are back, in the same tree, setting up dove housekeeping.  I dare say that is a remarkable picture of a dove’s ass.

I don’t know why it wouldn’t let me put a thumbnail there. Last year a fledgling left the nest a couple of months after I bought this place. I lost quite a few fledglings at the other place because they’d nest in the palm tree and it was way too far down for them. They’d fall out of the nest and ultimately die. Now they just have to deal with Rita barking at them…at 4:30…a.m.

I’m not expecting to grow flowers in the desert

Today I rode Bear Creek with my friend Javier. We met at Morgan Stanley. We went through the Series 7 and sale training together. He’s over at Oppenheimer now and I’m one of the Undead. Bear Creek is an 18 mile course that has three ridiculous hills at the end… the three bears. Back in the 1970’s this course was used by the Olympic team for time trials. They had to do three laps. Last time we did this I couldn’t get the last two hills without a break. This time I got it but I’m pretty sure I will be unable to move tomorrow morning. If I could solve the problem where my arms go to sleep I’d be the happiest little cyclist, powerlifter, dog whisperer in the world. But I can’t so I just hope and pray when we’re going 35mph on the downhill that my numb fingers will remember where the brakes are if I need them. There’s another broker that we knew from Morgan Stanley that he still works with. He cycles too. Ron told Javier not to flutter his brakes. His reasoning: they ain’t no difference in crashing at 28mph or 35mph so enjoy the ride. Wheeee! Afterwards we stopped at Peet’s in Orinda. Yesterday I hit Peet’s in Clayton. Any weekend with two trips to Peet’s is a great weekend. We sat there had a cuppa and talked bicycles. I miss working with Javier, he’s one of the smartest people I know. Here’s a little talked about secret. The Series 7 has a 70 percent pass rate. Of the 70 percent most of the brokers score very close to 70%. Not the Wine Dog, I got a 92 on that bad boy. Yeah, smoked it. I’d be ridiculously proud of that, but Javier got a 96. And he speaks like five languages.

Photojournalism

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What’s great about this picture is what you don’t see. Noticeably absent are RITA’S RIBS. She still has ribs, they’re just properly covered by body fat. You can still see the last two, as you can with Beauregard, who thinks she smells funny.

When I got home from the ride, I didn’t have time for my post Bear Creek nap so I went to Yardbirds got some more compost and higher quality soil and finished the vegetable beds.

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While some of you have asked about the two graves in my back yard, (contrary to popular belief that is not the hole I dug for my career) they’re actually planters and they now have broccoli and tomato plants in them. Seeds that were planted include just about every kind of hot pepper under the sun, four kinds of squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, lettuce and cauliflower. The big mystery will be to see what makes it. I’d like it all to make it but I realize that’s really shooting pretty high. I sure hope the scotch bonnets make it.

Now, I spend a lot of time pontificating about real estate investing and making business decisions and not using emotion and all of that. I’m pretty good about it myself. However, the actual decision to offer on this house had nothing to do with anything except this rose bush.

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I know, I’m a jackass.

To the Lord, praises be, it’s time for dinner now let’s go eat

Rita’s new diet has been going on for a week now. She gets a cup of food in the morning with kefir on it, a cup in the evening with the special mixture my Dad made (raw chicken, raw ground chuck, raw eggs, macaroni, cheese, spinach and potatoes) and then another cup at 9pm with a satin ball mixed in. She thinks it’s peachy. Beauregard thinks she’s a little bitch because she gets a 3rd meal he doesn’t. He’s been a little attitudinal about it all. The biggest thing is that he will bare his teeth in the evening if she tries to get between him and me. In truth, she doesn’t care, she’ll just jump up on the other side and does. In his world it’s like fighting over the Suez Canal. She’s out running right now, (running off whatever I’ve fed her so far today) and he’s sleeping in my bed on my pillow. He’s not supposed to sleep on my pillow, but that’s his way of letting me know he’s number one and don’t anyone forget it. I took him on a special car ride yesterday without her. That helped, but I needed to take her on a walk without him and that didn’t help. When I take my long walk in the evening there are lots of other dogs out and he chose to jaw with a golden retriever the other night. Not cool. Then she joined in and I really don’t want to be totally perceived as the crazy bitch with the insane attack dogs in the neighborhood. A healthy respect is okay with me, but a bad reputation, not so much. So Rita and I took off for a 3 mile walk/jog/sometimes run a little yesterday. The problem with this neighborhood is traffic coupled with the lack of sidewalks. So I plotted a path on Map My Run that I thought would have sidewalks, but I got out to Ygnacio and rut roh, no sidewalks. People drive like 65 out there, so we turned and came back. Left our mileage at 2.64, close enough for government work. I’m still hacking. Not as bad as it was, but still got the quack going on. I also got about an hour on the bike yesterday. It felt good to go fast. Afterwards, I started filling in the graves in the back yard. I mixed compost in with the soil and raked and raked and raked. Pulled out the stones as they showed their little faces. The first one is about half full, my back was flirting with collapse, so I quit. It’s damned cold this morning so I’m glad I didn’t put little seeds out there to get this cold yesterday. Hopefully, I’ll have them in the ground by week’s end….especially since tomorrow is April!

The Wine Dog is Drinking

Rombauer 2005 Zinfandel. Life is just good. I put some of that jerk marinade on a pork chop and grilled it up. Yeah, like that.

It is time for you to laugh instead of crying

I did a little research the other night, because that’s what us title officers like to do. Did you know that the price of a gallon of gas in 1998 was $1.07 average per gallon. On January 20, 2001 it was $1.57. Today it’s $3.65. That’s over 300% inflation in ten years. Did your salary increase 300%? Housing has tripled in the same period of time, now with the pullback at around 15% in these parts, it’s still up over 200%. Did your salary double in the last ten years? If you live in California, a kwh of electricity cost .115 cents in 2001. Then Enron came to town. Now it’s .178 cents. That’s 154% inflation. A pound of butter was $1.04 in 2001. Today at Safeway it’s $3.50. Over 300% increase. Wondering why you’re feeling the squeeze?

Back in 1998 First American Title Guaranty Company, a company that was swallowed up by the behemoth had to restructure their salary guidelines. They wanted to hire me but their guidelines were grossly outdated and they couldn’t compete in the marketplace. The market itself was just recovering from the 1991 pullback people had made back that loss and the market was fixing to run. They restructured their salary guidelines and I was one of the first the benefit from it. Even then I took a cut and pay to work for them. Today, they are paying me the exact same salary they paid me ten years ago. A friend of mine who lost his job in the Alliance Title Company debacle just got hired by another company last week. His salary is less than half of what he was making. The manager told him “It’s a different world”. It is a different world. The world we live in the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class endure constant downward pressure until they are no longer middle class. If we continue the way we are going, there will only be the wealthy landholders and the kitchen help left in this country. Companies who continue to take advantage of employees like this and then compensate their executives with millions of dollars will find when the market changes that every one of these people will go out and cut themselves a better deal for themselves and their families. Companies and mid-level managers will whine about the lack of loyalty, but to them I say “You had the chance to do the right thing and you didn’t. There’s your loyalty”.

In other news

This flu is a mutha. While the worst has been over for a week now, I still have a nagging generally dry cough. I hacked and hacked yesterday until I thought I was going to cough up my toenails. Everybody who’s had this is hacking like this. I tried scotch last night and that calmed it somewhat. Finally I ran down and bought more lemons and made several cups of tea and the quelled the cough enough to go to bed. The other by-product is the loss of my superpowers. I have gone to the gym and worked out pretty lightly, but I really don’t have enough mojo to get back into it. I’m just going through the motions in hope of getting better some day. I’ve been told that one day I will wake up and the cough will be gone. I look forward to that day.

Rita spent her first night out of her crate last night. She slept in the bedroom and only stirred once. My cousin and his wife are still here and her sister came by late and stayed even later. I went to bed and when she left at 1:05a.m Rita heard the front door open and did the right thing and alerted. I told her it was ok and she laid down and went back to sleep. She’s also spending more time out of the crate while I’m running errands. So far she’s been perfect. I’m very happy with her progress. She’s such an awesome little dog. (even though she just passed gas and the room is now a certain shade of blue) I’m going to start feeding her Mac n’ mack tomorrow to see if I can get some weight on her. The sister is a vet and she suggested even higher calorie food and a check for her pancreas, but I think her pancreas is fine, she just runs it off as fast as I feed it to her.

Contest Update

I have received some bunny pictures and I have some of my own. I think I’ll add a page with them all later on today. For now, I have to go pick up a contractor at BARF who is going to help me reset that freaking French Door.

When you’re the master of the off-chance

Today, I thought I’d return to home improvements. I’ve been installing moulding a door that’s been hung but the shims haven’t been cut down and the moulding hasn’t been done, so that’s nearly done. The master bedroom closet was a total piece of crap. I had to bolster the wood rod in the middle, but it’s really just not doing the job.

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That’s just barely functional. And I so can’t deal with all the not used space. So after two hours at the Container Store yesterday. Thirty minutes designing and buying my stuff, 90 minutes waiting for it to come up because they have the largest shrinkage in Walnut Creek of all the Container Stores and the whole freaking world and they have to count everything three times before it goes out. Once when they pull it, and then it’s checked twice. That is 90 minutes of my life I will never get back.  I drank coffee, I wandered around, I poked in other store windows, I paced, I talked on my cell, I paced some more, I drank more coffee, looked in more store windows, wandered over to Crate and Barrel, paced some more, badgered and cajoled and then my stuff showed up. Unfortunately, I was right there so they didn’t buzz me with their buzzer thing and it’s now sitting on my dresser. Apparently, I can mail it back from any post office. Here’s the bizarre part of the whole thing. It took less time to tear out the shelf, ridge and bar and build the new closet, than it did to pick it up.

Voila!

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Rita has been running non-stop all day. No wonder I can’t keep any weight on this dog. She runs it off as quick as I feed it to her. It’s going to be a long summer. She won’t come in until the sun goes down. She’s going to weigh 35 pounds by the end of summer and I’ll be feeding her a half dozen eggs, pound of chuck, three cups of Evo and she still won’t hold weight.

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If you were here, you would hear the utter silence of a Stealth Doberman. She’s learned that she can stalk the squirrels and she almost got one earlier just from being quiet. No, I don’t know who screwed her nose on sideways.

And not to be outdone, here’s the most amazing guy around. He’s nine years old and just didn’t get the memo.

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No pallete still, no wine talk. Maybe by the end of the week I’ll be able to taste again. Friday night I had Camaron la Diabla. I soaked it in hot sauce and still couldn’t taste it. This virus has really been a punk. For the locals, if you get it, take it easy, it’s just a mutha. And drink bourbon. Trust me on that.